Today over at Lost in Translation, Paula’s Thursday’s Special theme is minuscule, which is a word I often have problems spelling because it comes in two versions, and that then leads me to make up my own. Anyway, I instantly thought of pollen grains, which made me think of bees, and of the small busy world of pollen gathering that goes on all spring and summer, mostly unnoticed by us humans. And so since I believe we cannot think of bees too much or too often, given the valuable work they do for us, here’s another bee snap.
I am also grateful to Pauline at Memories Are Made of This, who in today’s post also has bees on her mind, for reminding me a few a weeks ago in one of her comments that Granny’s Bonnets is another name for columbines or aquilegias. So there you have it – bumble bee in my Granny’s Bonnets, but not in my actual bonnet, although my other half would often beg to differ on that statement.
A couple of summers ago we took out a length of hedge between our back garden and the field. It was a thicket of alien snowberry and overgrown ash tree seedlings, and a nightmare to cut. Now we have a simple fence, a rampant herb and wildflower garden that grows itself, and a view. We also have masses of bees.
Back in the spring they foraged on the columbines; later on the spires of self-seeded purple toadflax and foxgloves. Now they are gorging on oregano and bramble blossom. I spotted at least three varieties of bumble bee this afternoon, but apart from the red-tailed bumble below, I’m having problems identifying them. For those of you who wish to try, there is an excellent identification page with a video at bumblebeeconservation.org