It was every bee for itself over in the poppy patch behind the garden sheds this morning: the apian equivalent of a supermarket trolley dash. Honey bees, little brown bumbles, dinky stripy bumbles, blooming big scary bumbles and white-tailed bumbles diving in for the poppy nectar while the air all round filled with happy bee hum. Some were feeding with such speed and voracity that their baggage compartments were definitely approaching the overloaded mark. Now and then they would take a feeding break on the poppy’s crown while they dusted themselves down and redistributed the pollen cargo.
The gathering technique is also fascinating. They dive into the base of the flower and speed round beneath the stamens, feeding on the nectar while every part of them hoovers up pollen from the anthers. Even with the biggest bumbles, once they get into their stride, all you can see are the stamens ruffling round like curtain pelmet tassels in a stiff breeze. Whoosh, and it’s on to the next feeding station.
I probably don’t need to say it again to those who follow this blog, but then no chance should be wasted. The wellbeing of our planet, and of humanity, and of the continued production of much of our food depends on protecting and nurturing bee populations any way we can. Masses are being killed off by pesticides and habitat loss. So loud applause for the opium poppies that came of their own accord to our boundary fence, and are doing their bit for bee world. Rah! Rah! Hurrah, poppies!
40 thoughts on “And It Was A Right Bees’ Breakfast This Morning Over My Garden Fence…”
That first macro image is astounding. I’m not sure I have ever seen a more detailed work party going on. 🙂
Thanks, Sue. It’s just amazing what bees get up to, and at what speed.
Love those bees! Even in Bristol it’s amazing what you can attract into your garden if you plant right – we get a wide range of bumbles as you do, from ones almost as big as your thumb to little buff tails. Honey bees come too, crickets, butterflies, hoverflies, all sorts of bugs and beetles I hardly know. It’s lovely to listen to them, though the best sound I think is the bumble bees when they go into a foxglove flower – they make a noise that sounds vagule frustrated but utterly determined . Beautiful pics, Tish 🙂
Yes bees inside a foxglove. That’s quite something and you’ve reminded me that I’ve taken some pix of same. Looks like another bee post in the offing.
As my foxgloves are nearly over, I shall look forward to seeing that 🙂
Fantastic photos! Amazing clarity and detail. Brilliant.
Cheers, Les. Nice to find you here 🙂
Yes, three cheers for the opium poppies….:) Not only are they beautiful to look at but they are so nurturing for our bee population…..Thanks Tish. Janet:)
What a wonderful sight, Tish! Hurrah for those poppies, indeed!
Your photos have inspired met to have some honey!
It doesn’t take much to inspire me towards the honey jar either 🙂
Beautiful post. The fam. went to a brand new local produce/craft market thing just down the road and one of the people there is in the Honey Business and is looking to promote residential hives.
The do all the set up and what have you then they come collect the honey and the resident gets a percentage.
What a great idea, and great use for large suburban gardens with all their flowering shrubs and trees.
With cats and dogs I am not yet completely sold on the idea, although Ems and Celeste are. My son seems alright with it too.
We’ll see what pans out. They have to get council permission first.
That is a serious consideration. I suppose it depends how docile the bees are. African strains can be v. aggressive. But then that’s usually when people are trying to nick their honey, and if you’re not the one dealing with the hive, they should hopefully get on with their own lives and not interfere with the animals.
Bee heaven it seems. and I have a stray poppy in my garden. I must get more…
Should be able to post you a mass of seed any time now. All the flowers were gone this evening and nothing left but a phalanx of seed heads. Amazing the power of the natural world.
Amazing close-ups, Tish. They’re certainly very beezy in there. 🙂
Beezy bees indeed, Sylvia. I felt quite hyper after watching them for half an hour.
Brilliant photos Tish. There are lots of bees on a big lavender in my garden, but they aren’t still even for a nanosecond, I suppose because the flowers are so tiny.
Poppies are very helpful in that way. They’re a good height, and if you focus on a flower a bee is sure to come along pretty soon. Also I think all the pollen was slowing them down a bit 🙂
What marvelous shots, Tish! The bees on the lavender at my s-i-l’s in France were in just such a frenzy of sweet excitement.
I can just imagine. I do rather envy your trip amongst French lavender.
Terrific photos. Yes, we need to save the bees to maintain our food supply. The gods on Olympus used to drink nectar. Also a good lager every now and then.
Hi there, Bumba. Are you back home?
You’re a bee advocate – and photographer – extraordinaire. Poppies and bees – what better combination?
They put on such a good show!
Beautiful photos Tish. I especially like the third one – it’s almost an abstract.
I have been sufficiently nourished on your beautiful visuals and vivd descriptions. I am going to shoot this post over to a New Zealand bee keeper that I know who I think would love this!
The more bee sharing the better, Lisa. Thanks for coming to the bees’ breakfast 🙂
Another beautiful post.
Thank you, Stephen.
Incredible shots! I think I love you 🙂 🙂
Oh how very lovely, Jo. Love back with bees and bells on 🙂
Great captures, Tish. Nature never ceases to captivate me.
Hello John. Yes indeed. You never quite know what will turn up in the wild world 🙂
I came for a quick hop over your blog and was very tempted to linger in those beautiful blooms. Just wanted to say “hi” after my holiday and check on people 🙂 Hope all is well, Tish.
Hello, Paula. I’ve been wondering if you were back. Lovely of you to come find me. Speak more later 🙂