Meet the bumblebees and offer them breakfast…
Lucy, PHD Researcher – National Botanic Garden of Wales.
This column focuses on some of the most amazing animals on the planet. The Insects.
Before you turn the page– because you don’t like ‘creepy crawlies’ – give them a chance– find out about the incredible things they do. You never know, you might become as excited by them as me!
For me the first sign of spring is seeing the big, fat bumblebee queens flying low over tussocks of grass and old mouse holes. Buzzing loudly as they slow to inspect potential homes to start their nest. We’ve had an odd start to the season, with some untimely warm spells. This can be a bit confusing for our bumblebee queens, who emerge from hibernation earlier than usual, sometimes before we’ve seen the last of Jack Frost.
When they emerge from hibernation, the first thing they need is a boost of energy from the nectar and pollen of early flowers. It’s vital that we have enough early flowers for them at this time of year. In our gardens, bulbs such as crocus provide a delightful treat.
Along the road verges, lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis), dead nettles (Lamium purpureum and Lamium album)are important sources of pollen and nectar when little else is available. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) – is a firm favourite of many insect species – sometimes the only resource available in spring – so don’t discount it as a weed – there is a very hungry bumblebee that will be grateful that you left it for her.
Please get in touch with us if you would like to learn more about our important pollinators. Enquire about talks for social and business groups linking to insights and information from specialists. For more information or to book – email firstname.lastname@example.org