In the last week we have not seen any dead bumble bees, but a couple of days ago I noticed some that were distressed, but alive, on our drive fence.
Yesterday my husband came in asked why one part of our drive was covered in dead bees.
We recovered 12 in all.
Feeling really concerned we found the Bumblebee Conservation Trust online http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-bees/faqs/finding-dead-bees/ There we found an explanation for our dead bees. There is a lime tree overhanging our drive and for reasons not well understood (go to the link) bumblebees keep feeding on the lime tree nectar even when it is low. They run out of energy and die. Apparently honey bees aren’t quite so foolish.
It seems, also, that finding dead bumblebees generally is not necessarily a bad a sign (so long as the numbers are not too great). Perhaps, taking the hopeful view, we have seen more because we are growing more bee-friendly plants. This hope doesn’t, sadly, apply to the plight of honey bees, whose numbers are still in free-fall.
I am incurably excited by buds – especially on plants that are new in the garden. This is (our new) peony lactiflora Solange which will be cream flushed amber/salmon pink.
This is Rhododendron Crassum – supposedly scented. We have had it for seven years. It has been cut back by frosts, failed to produce buds, or the buds have failed, but I think we are going to see something at last.
And here’s a peony that has finally opened after sulking for several years. Name?
And finally a newcomer that has thrilled me, Rosa Wollerton Old Hall, with a light scent of myrrh. I could almost eat it for breakfast.