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).
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.
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.