Sunday, 27 January 2013

Little Bumble Bee

Whilst the rest of the UK is having yet more snow, it just seems to be passing us by here in Edinburgh!  Now, believe you me, I'm not greedy and it's not as if I want knee deep snow, just a few inches would have been nice.  The bags of salt I stock piled remain unopened at the rear of the shed and the heavy duty snow shovel I bought after the bad winters of 2009 and 2010 could well be described as nearly new, having been used only once!

Friday afternoons are my nieces and nephew sitting day, being that here in Edinburgh, the kids have a half day from school.  Today the house was turned into a hairdressing salon for the afternoon - my son's girlfriend  was on her day off, therefore she was able to give the kids and my son their monthly haircut - yes, he too finishes his work early on a Friday too!  Fridays are usually a busy afternoon for me - whilst it's nice to see them all together, it can get rather hectic!  My afternoons are usually 'me time' - I work nights and am in general, not a morning person or should that read an early afternoon person?  Either way, it was rather nice that when I got up, son's GF had sorted out the laundry, done the downstairs floors for me, organised kids lunches and even emptied the dishwasher for me.  I was redundant for the next few hours!!  With nothing to do, well that's maybe stretching the truth a bit because had I looked hard enough I'm sure I could have found something - on went the lap top as I decided it was about time I sorted through all last year's garden pictures and free up some space on the hard drive.  It's well saying we don't need to pay for photo developing nowadays - I would never have taken a fraction of the pictures I had if I needed to pay to view them!
There was quite literally thousands of images which had me looking back with fond memories and fast forwarding me to warmer, brighter days of spring and summer, many of which I recalled in my Review of 2012 blog.

I came across this little selection of images which I had forgot I'd taken.  I had just taken delivery of my new smartphone (Samsung Galaxy SIII), which had been chosen because the camera was an improvement on that on my old Iphone.  I thought that maybe some of you may enjoy them and get you into thinking of warmer sunny weather ahead.



 She is a common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum), although in my garden they are affectionately called the 'wee ginger bumble bees' - I say 'she' because taking size and the fact pollen sacks are present, my guess is that she is a worker.
Queens are 16-18mm in length and workers slightly smaller at 10-14mm.  Males, are easily identified by the fact that they have no pollen pockets are 13-14mm.  Here in Scotland, these bees will nest late in the year (July).  It is thought that many of their nests are destroyed when the farmer harvests his fields.  It would be nice to think this little lady survived such a fate!
There are several species of Ginger Bumble Bees in the UK - this (if I have my ID correct) is the most common and can be found throughout the British Isles. Nests will be found just below the surface of the ground in old mammal nests or on the surface in grass tussocks.  I have not found traces of this species of  bee nesting in my garden but if they are I hope their nest did not meet the same fate as the nest of the red tailed bumble bees that flooded  a week or so before these pictures were taken.   

As is evident by the pictures, she had a good forage.  Her pollen baskets are full and she was quite oblivious to me sitting down watching her as she went from flower to flower.

For more information on British Bumble Bees there are a good few websites/forums out there - here are the ones I use:

Wild About Britain

Bumblebee Conservation

UK Safari

Wet June 2012
The plant on which she is spending so much time, is one of my favourite plants in the garden - a lovely little Dicentra eximia 'King of Hearts' a lovely little fern leaved Dicentra.  Unlike Dicentra spectabalis (Lamprocapnos as they are now know) they don't disappear during summer.

In my garden it grows in part shade, in a moist but well drained soil.  It is said they prefer neutral to alkaline conditions.  Planted in amongst ferns, hostas and heucheras this little beauty really does stand out in a crowd!  I'm hoping too that I can propogate more plants from it this year, for that I need to do my homework!



I hope you enjoyed a wee look at these picutres as much as I did reminiscing about them.  If you have any tips and advice about propogating this species of Dicentra, I'd like to hear about them.

Thanks for stopping by!           

17 comments:

  1. I am curious about the little mushroom shapes in the "wet spring" photo. Are they garden art? They look too pink and perfect to be actual mushrooms. Thanks for the look back, and encouragement for what will surely come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ricki - yes those little mushrooms are ceramic - they tinkle in the wind which is nice. Downside - no good in winter as the frost and wind cracks them!

      Delete
  2. I do love your wee bee and that dicentra. Nice to reminisce during our snowy winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been good to reminisce - things finally moving in my garden - my first hellebore flowers are about to open :)

      Delete
  3. I love bumble bees, we usually have lots in the warm months. They really do like that bleeding heart, I didn't know that was a good pollinator plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason, this wee plant is visited by several different bees - the shape of the flower means that only those bees with medium or long tongues will visit.

      Delete
  4. Lovely the little bumble bee in the Dicentra. Weather changed in two days from -6 degr. to +6 degr. Snow is melting, soil still frozen. Looking forward to spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janneke, temperatures have been rising here too, although the gale force winds are making it feel much colder. We are never happy are we? Roll on spring :)

      Delete
  5. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Please do it again :-). You really want snow!!?? I can't wait for this cold to go and spring/summer to come. Your photos are very nice, especially that small corner of your garden with those lovely pinkish flowers. Those two mushrooms - are they sculptures?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome KL - I certainly will drop by again!
      I was kind of feeling left out from the rest of the UK - snow everywhere except the central belt of Scotland.
      Those little mushrooms are ceramic they look good except not in winter the frost and wind damages them!

      Delete
  6. Lovely photos of the bumble bee, I have actually seen a bumble bee in my garden this year, before we got this cold snap. The tempreature is rising again, tomorrow we will get 13 C in London, spring again! I also have a couple of Dicentra in my garden, but not the variety you have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helene, thanks for reading. Had bees early last year because it was so mild - like London things are warming up here too.
      This is a lovely little Dicentra - already tiny shoot poking though the soil!

      Delete
  7. I would love to have a dicentra with those beautiful leaves... especially if it wouldn't disappear during our hot Summers, I'll check into whether it is recommended for my gardens. So lovely to see those little heart blooms again... I see you've been escaping to the archives, too! It's a lovely place in Winter!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for dropping in Carolyn. Dicentra eximia is native to the Eastern US, there is a similar one Dicentra formosa native to the west coast. I don't grow formosa so am unable to comment on its behavior. I do hope it is suitable for your garden.
    Yes, escaping to the archives is a lovely place to be in winter!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Have you tried the paleo diet for themselves is entirely
    up to them to decide.

    Feel free to visit my website caveman diet breakfast

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello mates, fаstidious articlе and good arguments commentеd at this plaсe, I am trulу enjoyіng by these.


    Mу ρаgе :: lloyd irvin

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It's
    pretty wοrth enough for me. Personally, if аll wеbsite owners and bloggers made good content aѕ уou
    dіԁ, thе wеb will be muсh more usеful than еνer before.


    Alsο visit mу sіte; reputation management

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.