About


Male Anthophora plumipes

It is about two years ago that bees started to show an interest in me.  The bumble bees had always been there but then bees started to watch me out of holes in the stone wall of our house.

Carpenter in Wisteria

Big black bees that were very shy came to visit our Wisteria as soon as the first flowers appeared.  They are too big to get inside the Wisteria to reach the nectar so they pierce the flower and take a short cut to the nectar.

Mining bee

But it was the ones that popped out of the grass to watch me when I was under our plum tree that really surprised me.  It is a well known fact that bees live in a bee hive and make honey but these bees did not even look like bees should.

Andrena fulva

They like our black currant flowers.  I watch the blackcurrant bushes in the spring waiting for them to flower because I know my special bees will be there.  Spring is a special time in the garden as the willow and the fruit trees flower attracting so many bees.  Too many for me to identify on my own.  Perhaps this year I will be able to identify more – with some help.

Gardening took on a new aspect.  It wasn’t just about planting stuff for the flowers – it was wondering what the flowers would attract.  But I wanted more.  I wanted to find out more about these bees.  I wanted to find out about their life-cycles and what species they were (in my innocence).

Mining beeWell, it’s not easy.  Especially I have found my passion for bees is not common in this area of the Charente Maritime in France.  Bee keepers know honey bees but are not necessarily interested in solitary bees.  I am hoping that my blog will allow me to contact people with a similar passion to comfort and help each other discover more about bees.

Please feel free to leave comments and pointers, they are always welcome – I want to learn.

16 thoughts on “About

  1. You are so right about beekeepers not necessarily being interested in other types of bees. Our new president of the bee club stated he didn’t want to take time at the bee meetings talking about solitary bees.
    Since we started keeping bees, our garden goals have changed also. “Flowers take up space and water,” changed to “Nothing is too good for my bees,” and “You can never have too many flowers!”

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  2. I’m just starting my bee journey, and your photos are very helpful (and lovely!). We have a friend’s hives here on our land, and I’m trying to learn more – and plant more things that bees like. It does change how you garden, doesn’t. One good sign – apparently the commercial apple orchards near me are becoming more interested in solitary bees, and trying to provide habitats specifically for them, to help with pollination – as we’ve hand so many wet/cold winters recently, and bee numbers of all kinds are down. Best wishes with your bees and flowers.

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    • Thank you, it is so nice to find someone else who is interested in all sorts of bees. It seems the more flowers and plants you have in the garden that they need for either pollen, nest building or nectar the more you see.

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  3. Amelia…
    you commented “ont’other blog” that no one seemed to be interested in this B’ species blog…
    well, I am!
    And I am following it…
    but, as almost all these bees are totally new to me, I am just observing for the moment.

    However, a thought occured to me that you could use one of the “pages” that Wordp”rom”ess allows…
    to build up a pictorial key for us lay persons…
    as Susan knows, I do not do verbal keys, I do pix!!

    Something simple like a
    Nice pic of the relevant bee,
    The name,
    A link to the entry &
    Perhaps a couple of pix of the key identification points…

    Just a thought…

    So keep writing…
    we are reading you, even if it sometimes seems we are not!!

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    • I will think about that. I’m just not sure how useful it would be. I would imagine you would be able to see all the bees I see. Obviously, they are not around all the time and you have to look at the right time. You will only be likely see the Ivy bee, Colletes hedera if you look in ivy when it is flowering. I have chosen the easiest to identify as a lot of them are very similar.

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      • I was thinking of it as a resource…
        Personally, I would be looking at it with my picture browser open.
        Any source of insect info is useful…
        when it has been carefully researched!
        Chinnery is good to a point…
        I thought…
        until Susan happened to mention that he tends to pick the most attractive…
        and not the most common…
        examples!!

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    • As I am about to upload some of my non-bee related pix to flickr…
      I’ll pay his site a visit…
      and blame you if I don’t get anything done this evening!!
      Isn’t the weather miserable…
      it’s really getting me down!!

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      • AAAAAGH! I’ve just taken a look….
        daren’t go any deeper in there tonight…
        I think I’ll add his site to our links page on Aigronne V.W’life!
        And then dip in from time to time…
        I daren’t add him to my follow list!!
        Tooooooooo distracting!
        Thanks! It will be very useful.

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  4. There is a lot of my Mallard pic on here…
    but here is another…
    Thanks to you blogs, I saw my first “recognised” Plumpie yesterday…
    it was nectaring on all the Red Dead-nettle that my beloved-one is desperately trying to haul out of the potager!!
    Still there is plenty of the stuff out there…
    they’ll not go hungry.
    And I noticed a Mason Bee using the drillrd block by the lounge window today…
    and the cherry nearby is just coming into flower.

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