15th June 2015

The Carder Bee, laden with pollen, flies through the Lavender bush

The Carder Bee, laden with pollen, flies through the Lavender bush

One million Pollen grains- that is the sort of number of grains in a bee’s full pollen basket and this Carder Bee, one of the most common bees, especially in inner city gardens, has very full pollen baskets! Bees have different sorts of hairs on their legs,

The pollen is also an unusually deep orange colour

The pollen is also an unusually deep orange colour, contrasting well with the bees fluffy, pale head!

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The Carder Bee, baskets loaded prepares to fly back to its nest.

The Carder Bee, baskets loaded, prepares to fly back to its nest. The individual flowers of the Lavender can be seen in this photo. The bracts are just decorative, and not a source of food.

to comb the pollen that gathers onto their body into the grooves which form their pollen baskets on their hind legs. Carder Bees are social bees and nest in tangled vegetation or mouse holes, and our garden is alive with them at present, feeding off the very bee-friendly Lavender plants. The big bracts at the top of the flower hold no attraction for them- it is the tiny flowers below the bracts that are the source of nectar and pollen. These Bees get their name from their habit of combing or ‘carding’ material together to form the cells which will hold their larvae. Conditions: A fairly still, mostly cloudy day. Temperature: Max 17- Min 13c.

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