The Common Carder bees were very definitely the first on the scene this season, catching the last of the storm-battered Pulmonarias before moving on to the perennial wallflower [Erysimun Bowles’ Nauve] and then to the early copper-leaved bugle [Ajuga reptans] and to the first few flowers of Geranium phaeum.They have also been the most hard-working, out at six on even dull mornings and still active at eight in the evening. They have even been flying in light drizzle.
Common Carder on Bugle
The lucorum agg population looks to have got off to a slower start. The White-tailed and Buff-tailed queens have been taking a long time to settle – the odd one or two still flying; one had to be turned out of the greenhouse yesterday – May 26th. The stormy weather has probably had an impact on nectar flow, and the cold nights on the development of larvae.
Lucorum agg workers have only begun to appear in the last couple of weeks, about the same time as the earliest of the little B. pratorum workers.Last season pratorum were later than the white- and buff-tailed workers. The Lucorum population has been building more slowly than the little dark early bees which have been quite plentiful the last week.
This one perched on an Aquilegia looks as though she may be robbing the nectar; the flower is very deep for such a small bee to reach it from inside.