A Week in Flowers, Day 7

Queen carder bumble bee on Aster, 22.9.21

It is only during the last few years that I have started growing Asters. I do not know quite how I missed them. Now they are a huge part of the flowers in my autumn garden. However, this year I was beginning to think that perhaps some of them were changing from flourishing to dominating. I don’t suppose it is too big a problem as it involves a short growing variety that will have to be controlled in the borders. The Asters attract all sorts of bees and butterflies. They provide an excellent reason to prolong your morning coffee break checking out what the Asters have attracted.

Saffron flower with bumblebee, 12.10.21

The Saffron flowers pop up in October. They provide the perfect resting place for tired bumblebees and I often find one still “in bed” when I look early in the morning.

This finishes my “Week in Flowers” hosted by Cathy of “Words and Herbs”.


19 thoughts on “A Week in Flowers, Day 7

  1. I love that photo of the bee dozing in your saffron crocus! Asters are an important part of my garden too, but I haven’t found them seeding around too much yet. Thank you for joining in this week Amelia. I have enjoyed seeing more of your garden and plants. 😃

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  2. A lovely end to a happy week – must show my husband your saffron crocus. He got me planting them this year, but there were no flowers. Hope they haven’t drowned in the rain! Asters and agastache are my favourite late bee and butterfly plants.

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          1. Fantastic. I have mahonia and viburnum tinus, lots of it, also some hellebores. I have a honeysuckle that isn’t the winter flowering one, but it has a few flowers on it. Also sages, santa barbara daisies, and a few roses still with flowers, so hopefully she will be able to get thru the winter okay! Thanks….
            bonnie in provence

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              1. Last summer we had quite a lot of this white tailed bee, so perhaps they have nests on the property. I have bee hotels so get quite a lot of different bees, not all of which I can identify. My other nest of bumblebees which I wrote about before seem to have gone in the last couple of weeks. They were not the white tailed ones, and there were several nests of them on the property in the lambs ears.

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                1. That is beautiful. If you have the flowers they need you get the bees. It could be “abeille cotonnière ” or Anthidium manicatum in the lambs ears as I see the females gathering the fluff from the lambs ears for their nests. I cannot imagine a garden without bees.


  3. I am sorry to be a bit late with this. Can I complicate matters a little by mentioning that here in Totnes I regularly see worker bumblebees collecting pollen in winter as part of winter active nests. I may also see queens. They are B.terrestris.

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    1. That is very interesting. Actually I saw a bumble bee nearly a week ago with pollen. It must have been B.terrestris but I did not think she was necessarily a queen. However it has been so cold recently that nothing has been coming out onto the flowers. So my question is “How does a bumble bee keep feeding the larvae during a cold spell?” Perhaps, they lose larvae during the cold spells. They do not have the numbers of workers in the nest to keep it as warm as the honeybees – I would imagine. Maybe their subterranean nests are warmer? Lots of questions! I did not think you would have active nests as far north as the U.K. I am surprised to see them here but then I hate the cold. Amelia


  4. Thanks Amelia, I saw workers with pollen yesterday but it has been quite mild for some time here. There are many questions about this phenomenon and I woulkd guess, as you suggest, that some colonies dont make it to completion but down by the coast I do see males in December (with queens and workers) so some must have gone through to that stage.


    1. I have never noticed male bumblebees in December. Honeybee queens are supposed to leave the nest only once in their life to be fertilised and can keep laying fertile eggs for 3-5 years. Perhaps bumblebee queens could start off more than one colony if the first encountered a cold spell ?

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