Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shortage of Bees


At the moment we've got pears, plums, apples, blackcurrants, gooseberries, white currants and red currants in flower....


..... but not many of these around to pollinate them. This one is on blackcurrant blossom. Back in March, in that warm spell, there were plenty of foraging queen bumblebees but the last two weeks of cold, wet weather have sent them back into hiding. Still,.........






































.... there are a few tree wasps Dolichovespula sylvestris around to help out - this one is on a gooseberry flower - although they're not hairy enough to be very efficient pollinators. 


Doesn't look like it's going to be a bumper year in the fruit garden........


7 comments:

  1. I'd never thought specifically about 'hairyness' as being a characteristic of efficient pollinators :-)

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  2. Hi Mel, Many years ago I did some work on pollen beetles (Meligethes spp.) which are very poor at picking up pollen (only a few pollen grains per beetle) but can be effective pollinators because of the vast numbers of them that congregate in flowers...

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  3. That is curious Phil. I have one small weeping bush full of catkins and there have been scores of bees of different types attracted to it in spite of the cold and heavy rain showers.

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  4. Should we pray for more pollen beetles or more sun?

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  5. Gorgeous photos!
    My best wishes for sun, insects, and a bountiful harvest!

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  6. Gorgeous photos!
    My best wishes for sun, insects, and a bountiful harvest!

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  7. Thanks, Knock on Wood - the weather is improving a bit now so I hope the bees will get busy!

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