Summer is not just about nectar . . .

. . . or single flowers. Like many of its nectar-less relatives, the double-flowered perennial Papaver Atlanticum carries a generous supply of pollen. It has a generous flowering season too – from May till first frosts.


The small round Early Bumblebee – actually the last of the four common varieties to show up with us this season – has been an assiduous collector of its light yellow pollen for a few weeks. Hoverflies also visit

But this week has brought a more attractive banquet – the climbing rose Rambling Rector is a cascade of small creamy-white semi-double blooms. The smaller bees – the early bumble and young B.lucorum agg workers – wallow happily in the dense ring of orange-yellow stamens at the centre. I was intrigued to see how clearly the rich colour of the rose pollen shows up in the pollen baskets. Just  visible here – early in the day and bees were rushing as though they had a quota to meet.

orange rose_pollen on early_bumblebee

The sheer volume of food on offer over about three weeks would make this old variety a good rose choice for honeybees

Ramblng Rector

Rambling Rector was introduced to Ireland around a hundred years ago – but is sometimes said to go back to Shakespeare’s time,

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