Solitary bees – swimming and pollinating

Last week I spotted this little solitary bee struggling in the pond. I helped it to a rock at the edge and watched as it dried itself off and eventually flew away.

Solitary bee drying out after falling in the pond
Solitary bee drying out after falling in the pond
...a little bit drier
…a little bit drier

Meanwhile the apples are coming into flower and I’ve been keeping an eye out for bees visiting them. However, there seem to be very few bees around so far this year. The few carder and bumblebees that are here seem to be ignoring the apple blossoms and focusing on the bugle (Ajuga reptans) and rosemary flowers instead.

Carder bee on bugle flowers
Carder bee on bugle flowers

However, there is one little solitary bee busily working its way through the apple flowers – it was there yesterday and again today. Or maybe there are lots of them, but I’m only seeing one at a time: either way, I’m glad that somebody is helping to make sure there will be an apple crop later this year.

Solitary bee on apple blossom
Solitary bee on apple blossom

(I think these solitary bees are Tawny Mining Bees – Andrena fulva – but I’m not at all sure: we’re lucky to have lots of different species of burrowing bees locally, but I don’t know enough to be able to identify them.)

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