Thursday 15 March 2018
Queen of the Spring
I have been on the look-out for early insects, and feeling the warmth of the sun through a glass panel yesterday afternoon, went outside just in case there were any Ladybirds emerging from the places they tend to over-winter. I guess it is still a bit early and cold, though I see I had come across a Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly by this time last year. However, making her way slowly up the door frame was this beautiful Queen Bumblebee. Queens, I have discovered, hibernate in the earth on their own. When they wake up they need to feed, and find a suitable nesting site. You can read about the Queen bee here on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust site.
I enlarged my photo on Photoshop to see the details. I also lightened it to help me see anything I might have missed. Those little golden speckles on the wing, presumably of pollen, caught my eye. Bees make particularly good pollinators because not only do they have specific pollen sacks, but small particles of pollen are carried on their bodies as a whole.
There are not many flowers in our garden yet. We have a few Polyanthus, a couple of small Iris, a lingering Snowdrop, yellow Viola (like small Pansies), a number of Daffodils and a couple of Daisies. It's a lovely to think that buds are beginning to burst - though I gather we may be due for more snow before the weekend is out, and 'just up the road' in Norfolk, there have been sightings of a magnificent female Snowy Owl.
Looking at the daffodils in this photo makes me feel we should be trying to buy plants in more environmentally-friendly pots next time. What a challenge for garden centres to switch from polystyrene and plastic to recycled, recyclable or biodegradable plant containers. Has anyone come across an outlet that is committed to doing just that?