Oh beautiful bees, which one are you?

bee common-carder

I don’t think it would come as much of a surprise to anyone that’s been here for a while that I love bees. They are a vital part of our garden and a vital part of our food production and I can’t sing the praises of encouraging them into your garden enough.

Last year I spent quite a lot of time trying to name species of bees that came into our garden. I didn’t make much progress.

This year armed with the macro lens I felt certain I would fare better. Hmm…

Not sure that I have. But on any sunny day you would find me out there with the camera trying to catch a bee or two. I even resorted to the tripod in the hopes of getting better shots. (You’ll be pleased to hear that the tripod didn’t make much difference – well that the story I’m going with anyway….)

I poured over the images and am finally ready to share what I think are six different bees. I say I think I have because it’s a complicated business. I used this website and a PDF found there to help with the process.

So although I am naming them as I go I am not 100% certain I’m correct! The delightful specimen at the start of this post is a Common Carder bee. This one below is also a common carder bee getting his fill of an Antirrhinum flower.

bee-common-carder1

Next we have a White-tailed bee on a Spiraea flower head. Look at all that pollen on his back legs!

bee-white-tailed-bumble

And another White-tailed.

bee-white-tailed1

And an Red-tailed one. The Knautia plants in early summer are bee nectar bars.

bee red-tailed-

And a Honey bee.

bees-honey

Here is a Tree bee on a Geranium flower.

bee-tree

And finally an Early bee.

bee-early

Fairly sure about this one as I managed to capture his yellow hairy face. Below is the same bee where you can see his blunt buff coloured tail.

bee-earlya

I would recommend planting the Knautia and also for later in the season Helenium and Echinops.

It’s been a labour of love, this identifying business but a worth while and fun one and I’m sure I’ll carry on photographing and trying to identify more species next summer.

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2 Responses to Oh beautiful bees, which one are you?

  1. Mary-Lou says:

    I never knew there were so many types of bees – I must check to see what varieties we have in our part of the world. I was aware of only bumble bees and honey bees along with two kinds of wasps. Lots of campaigns and info about the loss of bees and what is supposedly causing and what we can do to stop the decline. Great detail in your photos and descriptions, thanks Mel.

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