London (change)
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03/04/2013 at 21:39

Hi all, as most of you will already be aware, bees of all types are generally down in numbers so I thought I'd start a bee-spotting thread for 2013.  Have you seen any yet and if so, whereabouts, on what flowers and could you identify the species?

I'll kick-off by saying I saw my first bumble bee of the year yesterday, but couldn't get close enough to check what type it was.  I'm really glad as my "Lizzie" early fruiting plum tree is absolutely covered in flower buds which are just starting to open.  Last year it flowered in the early warm spell we had but there were no bees about and I got a total of 3 plums - the year before it had literally hundreds!

03/04/2013 at 21:47

I will soon as they nest in my front hedge I am sure they are honey bees as they swarm over mine and neabours porch ive asked before for someone to take them away but nobody is interested

03/04/2013 at 21:59

Seen a few pollinators out, they must be warming up

03/04/2013 at 22:24
03/04/2013 at 22:40

I saw quite a few bees in my garden a couple of days ago, bumblebees and a few honey bees, but I live in SW France. The plum and cherry trees are covered in flower buds and the peach tree is flowering so I hope there will be enough bees. Last year we had a huge frost followed by about 3 weeks of rain and there was hardly any fruit.

03/04/2013 at 23:10

On some warm days a couple of weeks ago my heather and willow catkins were covered in honey bees. Today i rescued a bumble in my greenhouse. Otherwise none at present in south of england. A bee keeper told me recently that the queens aren't laying in this cold weather. In normal years the numbers in a hive increase to maximum at end June/early July, then reduce over the rest of the summer.

03/04/2013 at 23:31
joyce mannell wrote (see)

I will soon as they nest in my front hedge I am sure they are honey bees as they swarm over mine and neabours porch ive asked before for someone to take them away but nobody is interested

If that happens joyce, try here:

04/04/2013 at 00:18

A swarm in May is worth a load of Hay

A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon

A swarm in July is not worth a fly.

Guessing that this year, if queens aren't laying yet, the swarms won't be worth very much!

04/04/2013 at 07:52

Good morning all. Some friends have bee hives down avery long country lane and two fields in from it , last week end some "Yobbos"with nothing better to do decided to wreck the six hives , my friends even tied rope over the roofs of the hive to prevent the winds from moving them all to no avail .but back to the queastion yes I have seen a couple of bees on the fly .


04/04/2013 at 08:15

I saw a very big bumble a couple of days ago 

04/04/2013 at 09:43

I saw a bee on a Pansy flower at work 2 days ago. Was lovely to see

04/04/2013 at 09:50

I saw a few  bees on the heather in the patio planter, good to see them and I hope they work hard to pollinate the bramley apple tree flowers this year as I had only a few apples ast year and they were awful.  Never been so glad to see honey bees before.

04/04/2013 at 13:55

saw one bumble,by the way if you have a water butt and the pipe leading into the container is not a close fix or if there is an open space put a little mesh cover across(an old pair of tights chopped)to stop the bees going in and drowning as I found some years ago.I had a few victims of drowned beesand since they are precious this is what i do now.

04/04/2013 at 15:50

I am a bit of an obsessive bee spotter, especially bumble bees but also honey bees, solitary bees and some wasps...


I reckon that I heard one in the garden yesterday  but I didn't see owt. Last year numbers were dreadful early on but they picked up later on in the's still too cold really yet but on warmer days (like yesterday here) I expect to see the occasional queen bumble bee out foraging in the spring flowers...

04/04/2013 at 18:28

No not yet, and usually at this time of year my pulmonaria's are smothered with the smallest cutest bees ever (well they are to me!), but so far the flowers are going to waste


On that note I have a question which I don't know if anyone can help with - I have a 'bee hotel' fixed on a fence which the leaf cutter bees use every year, however I need to move it as it is no longer sheltered - Does anyone have any idea when it would be a good time to do this?  I never see the bees emerge, only notice when the leaf cutter bee is stuffing the holes with leaves!

04/04/2013 at 19:13

We have several colonies in our garden (OH is beekeeper!)  They do seem reluctant to emerge on the cold days we have had but on sunny days, they frequently fly. Favourite plants are hazel and pussy willow. Snowdrops were good too. Only seen a couple of bumbles so far.

04/04/2013 at 19:30


To the person who talked about bees in her hedge.  They are not likely to be honey bees, honey bees don't live that.  Beekeepers can only collect a conventional swarm that is hanging on a tree or building.

I am very sad, here in East Anglia I normally see some bumble bees from January onwards and this year I still haven't seen any bees at all.  As well as an orchard that will soon need pollinators, I have two acres of a wild flower meadow that should provide ample food resources for many types of bees.

04/04/2013 at 19:30

Saw my first one yesterday - a buff-tailed.

04/04/2013 at 19:48


I am the person my name is joyce I thought they were honey bees  in my hedge so what are they then they are very small 



joyce m

04/04/2013 at 21:03
My bees have been foraging and bringing in pollen, mahonia has been a favourite, very little else out in west lancs I'm afraid. If it doesn't warm up soon colonies will starve, so much for global warming!
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