Busy Bumble Bees

Bumble Bee in a Crocus

Bumble bees in the Moosey Garden have a variety of food-flowers to keep them busy. And judging by the number of times a bee gets into a flower photograph, all is very well!

Bumble Bee Needs

In order for a garden to foster healthy colonies of bumble bees, different plants need to supply nectar and pollen throughout the seasons. Like mad gardeners, bumble bees will be out being busy in the garden on cold, rainy or foggy days - as well as fine ones. And, like gardeners, they need protein and energy.

My bumble bees adore the foxgloves in spring. They fit perfectly inside the little flower cups. Later, the tall Nicotiana sylvestris flowers are popular. Late summer sees groups of bees busy foraging on the giant Angelica seed heads. In the Moosey Garden they are known as 'bee hotels'. Scrophularias are much adored and buzzed around, though the flowers are so tiny I can't see why! And anything that looks like a thistle is a bee delight!

In autumn my flowering sedums are always covered in bumble bees. A clump of Autumn Joy flops over the entrance to my glass-house, and when they start flowering I always have to run the 'bee gauntlet' to get in and out...

 Calendula, Agastache, Dahlia
Bumble Bees in Flowers - 1

Bumble bees always make themselves busy around the Laundry Seat, where I grow most of my kitchen herbs and lavenders. Summer flowering marjoram is their top treat this month!

Buzzy Mail!

Recently a friend in Niagara asked if he could have a photograph of a Moosey bee on a flower for his website. Oh yes he could! I sent him Delphiniums, Cardoons, Lavateras, Agastaches, and heaps of Dahlias... His mailbox has never been so 'buzzy'!

 Dahlia, Angelica, Cistus.
Bumble Bees in Flowers - 2

As a result I've put together a collection of my best 'Bumble Bees in Flowers' pictures. I haven't tried to identify exactly which bee is what - my Google search tells me there are four types of Bombus (bumble bees) in New Zealand.

Bumble Bee Nests

And I have known about at least two bumble bee nests in my garden, where bumble bees have been flying in and out of a hole in the ground.

 Penstemon, Lavatera, Ligularia
Bumble Bees in Flowers - 3

New Zealand Bumble Bee Information

Further serious information about New Zealand bumble bees can be found on the Organic Pathways website. Please enjoy these photographs - and remember, fostering bumble bees in your garden is a really good thing to do. It's less labour intensive than kittens... Oops...