a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

Bee in Echinacea


I like watching the bees in the garden.  They have their different methods of collecting nectar and pollen from different plants.  It appears they collect nectar from some, pollen from others and nectar and pollen from still others.  The collection can be extremely rapid visit or a more relaxed endeavour.

This bee had an extremely thorough approach to her grooming of a single echinacea flower and I photographed her engrossed in her enterprise for eight minutes.

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Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

6 thoughts on “Bee in Echinacea

  1. She is a beauty. Not a variety we have here.


  2. Echinacea are generous to bees. She looks a little like a bee I see, Halictus ligatus, that collects so much pollen on coneflowers, it looks like bright yellow saddlebags.


    • It’s so interesting to compare what we see in different countries. I checked up and mine could well be Halictus sexcinctus, as you don’t get ligatus in Europe. It is so difficult to ID bees, even bumbles. When you get right down to the little details you often notice the bee has been mounted with a pin sticking through its thorax. I do like trying though 🙂


  3. Great study, love the captions as a running commentary. The slideshow is a lovely idea for a collection of photos, I must remember to do this!


  4. Pingback: London’s streets are paved with gold and honey | Miss Apis Mellifera

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