Ivy Bees everywhere..how lucky I am!

I have been walking a lot these last few days.. up and down the coastal path, miles and miles, between the two castles and on to the edge of the cliffs. On the way I pass some ancient ivy covered walls and overgrown thickets where ivy has grown tall and become tree like.

It is in full bloom right now, its strange little greeny yellow flowers glistening with nectar and every patch is covered with Ivy Bees.. pretty stripy Colletes hederae everywhere… just everywhere…

If this delightful bee is rare in some parts of the UK, here in the South East corner with France clearly visible across the Channel this morning, it is making itself very much at home. I wanted to check its progress on BWARS but the site is down at the moment, but I don’t think they have spread as far as Lincolnshire yet.

I watched these charming bees for some time. They are quick and very very quiet. Even standing right in amongst a big clump of ivy and allowing for noisy seagulls, it was hard to hear them.

But they are easy to recognise because of the gingery furry thorax,very distinctly striped abdomen and big dark eyes.   My camera is inadequate but here are a few photos…This one stopped to brush off some of its load of pollen.

When they are busy feeding they are quite oblivious of you. They work each flower very intently. I only have enlarging rings on my camera for close-ups so have to get very close and then focusing is hit and miss.. but do have one reasonable photo…

and a rather blurry one…

This is such a pretty bee and one I wrote about and painted for “Buzz” see blog post hereThe Delightful Stripy Ivy Bee . They are fairly new to the UK. I am so lucky to see them!

Enjoying the ivy along with the bees were hoverflies, regular flies and wasps. I hope for more and better photos soon..

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  1. Such a gorgeous bee with a sweet, sweet face. I adore your blog and your art and have been a lurker here – not a poster – my apologies for your deserve better! Pleased to make your acquaintance.

  2. I spent the afternoon in the garden, and a good deal of it, when not working, was spent sitting on my stool and watching the happy, buzzing, feasting bees. It was a good afternoon. I'm glad you got to see a somewhat unusual one!

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