Hello!  The sunny weather has come and brought with it flowers and bees aplenty.  I have spotted lots of different types of bee in our garden in Herne Hill this week.  Its such a pleasure to see them buzzing about, foraging for pollen and nectar. Still, it is pretty late in the season for them to be coming out in numbers.  I believe this is because of the cold spring and perhaps due to lack of forage for them.  As an amateur bee spotter it is exciting to see the sheer variety of bees in our garden.  Here are some of the bees I’ve seen so far this year: Bombus Hypnorum (the Tree Bumblebee), Bombus Lucorum (the White-Tailed Bumblebee), Bombus Pratorum (the Early Bumblebee), Bombus Lapidarius (the Red-Tailed Bumblebee), Osmia Bicornis (Red Mason Bee) and Apis Mellifera (European Honeybee).

Here I am looking at Red-Tailed Bumblebees foraging on buttercups in the meadow of Brockwell Park.  I counted 8, so I expect the nest was nearby!  Click here to see an ID image of the Red-Tailed and other bumblebees to help you spot them in future.

Below are some photos of the coloured porcelain Bee Pods I placed in my garden as part of my ceramic series ‘Offerings to the Insects.’  As you can see they are almost disappearing in the undergrowth and spider webs!  I will be exhibiting larger, indoor ‘Offerings to the Insects’ installations at New Designers 2013 from 26th-29th June.  Click here and scroll down to see ‘Orange Bees Nest’ used in Dezeen (top notch online design magazine).

Orange porcelain Bee Pods                                    Yellow porcelain Bee Pods with snail!

I love that these blue Bee Pods are almost encased in spider’s webs.

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This beautiful photograph of the solitary bee Andrena Flavipes turned up on the billboard under the Herne Hill train line (Norwood Road) over the weekend.  What a great way to bring wildlife to the public as this bee is probably only a couple of centimetres long.  You definitely can’t miss it!  This is part of the Green Up Community Festival in Herne Hill today.  See www.theurbanwildproject.org for more info.

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