And the first bee of the season?

A fine  B. Lucorum queen on March 10th. Trapped on the windowsill, so an easy photo before releasing her. She was seen soon afterwards flying high – perhaps returning from a trip to the early purple catkin willow (Salix purpurea) and the next day feeding on dark red Lenten Roses (Helleborus hybrids).

first bee of the season - a lucorum queen

First bee of the season – a lucorum queen

Last year’s first bee, a black Irish honeybee, on March 7, also turned up on a red Lenten rose: a reminder of what a significant source of early pollen and nectar these hybrid hellebores are.

hellebore & early dark honeybee  10-03-2014 13-45-015 10-03-2014 13-45-14

The bumble queen was followed two days later by a speckled wood butterfly, and then the next day by a very shiny black hoverfly, as yet unidentified, seen basking on  a blue-tit damaged daffodil.

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