I still get a good number of bees, but what concerns me are the number that I find looking ill or dead. What I've noticed over last few years is that they seem to love to settle on the conservatory, on the plastic not the glass. I've wondered if there is something emitted from the plastic that harms them, but I'm no scientist.
I doubt it. More likely the plastic is a warmer surface that is attractive to a sickly bee. If you see a bee that seems ill, it may be one that's starving or suffering from a virus such as the one transmitted by varroa mite. And bear in mind that most bees only live a few weeks. Dying is a regular occurence and doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong - well, there is for that individual bee, but not for bees in general.
Thanks GreenM was hoping I wasn't adding to their demise. Can I ask if they are starving why do they settle on PVC when nectar rich plants are so close by ? Maybe they are already ill as you say. Sad.
Today's Sunday Independent Newspaper reports that queen Short Haired bees , collected in Sweden, where they are increasing, are to be released at Dungeness in an effort to reintrodce them to Brirain. Other endangered species are to be helped in this way. Clearly this says that there is a problem, and that solutions are being actively sought.