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When looking at ivy flowers keep an eye out for the ivy bee. It is only along the south coast at the moment (particularly Dorset) but who knows where it may turn up next.
Reply to Kate. No sign of those bees last week, but I do see B. humilis in and around derelict London brownfield sites quite regularly. I know B. sylvarum is recorded from the area, but I've never seen it there. It is obviously very secretive. You are right about B. terrestris, I saw a huge queen at the ivy.
I was planting bulbs in the garden this weekend when I came across a number of Red Lilly Beetle in the compost. The compost was quite fresh quite a distance from my lilly's that are currently dying down. Is it normal to still find Red Lilly Beetle and in compost at this time of year?
Reply to Louise. Only just noticed your comment, sorry for late reply. I think it's very unusual to find the beetles this late, but with the milder weather of the last 10 years...who knows. I'm guessing they must have been attracted to lily cuttings or leaves you put into the compost, otherwise their behaviour is extremely abnormal.
There are two extremely rare species of bumblebee living around the Thames barrier - shame it's being built on - Bombus sylvarum and B. humilis. I doubt you'd have seen them so late in the season Richard, but you may have seen some workers and queens of B. terrestris?

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