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Share your stories and anecdotes about bumblebees


Total Posts: 50

Joined 2012-05-22


Cheerypeabrain - 01 September 2012 07:28 PM

I’ve been a bumblebee obssessive ever since we had a terrestris nest in our compost bin a few years ago. It was the ‘garden event of the year’ and made me think much more about the plants I was growing in the garden. They became ‘our bees’ and we felt both protective and honoured that the Queen had chosen our garden as a suitable home.

With the dreadful summer we had this year I’d become very concerned that the bees might suffer and go hungry…so I decided to make a bumblebee feeder (/paddling pool). I used an old plastic flower pot saucer and cut large petals out of old coloured plastic document folders, stapling them around the outside, secured the ‘flower’ to the top of a dowel then popped an old Chinese take-away sauce pot lid into the centre to cover the staples. I made ‘nectar by boiling up equal quantities of caster sugar with rose-water. Once cool I poured it into the middle saucer…. popped it into the flower border and stepped back…convinced that I had provided a lovely nectary banquet for my visitors.

They studiously ignored it…the ants LOVED it….*sigh* but it was an interesting exercise…and I’m sure that the bees knew I meant well…

Nice flower! I have a tip that should help keep the ants off: place the flower in an island surrounded by water! This little moat should stop the ants from getting to the sugar. Hope this helps!


Total Posts: 321

Joined 2012-05-24


Sorry for my slow response to this thread.

In my garden Anthophora plumipes work Cowslip flowers and I’ve seen them on Grape Hyacinth flowers too.
And elsewhere on Lithospermum flowers too.

See the photos, which aren’t that special, but do confirm my observations & comments.

But also I’ve found them very difficult to photograph because they move so fast !



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