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I saw my first Bee today buzzing around my Hydrangea. I don't think I have ever seen a bee in January, it has got to be the very mild winter we are having. I want to encourage more bees and wild life into the garden this year so seeing this little bee is very encouraging. 


I had the largest number of bees and hoverflies in my garden last year than I've ever had.  The bees especially loved the 'early bird' dahlias and the hoverflies went wild for the lilies. I saw my first bee last week, inspecting the pansies


Last week there were quite a few bees on the Mahonia in our garden. Not sure this is normal.. it may depend on the type of bee? Nice to see, although that coupled with lots of tulips starting to come up (?)  it did feel a bit out of kilter...   

We have had a bumblebee visiting our garden regularly for the last couple of weeks.

I believe there is programme about bumblebees on BBC2 at 8pm starting this Wednesday. It is the serious of three hour long programmes that were cancelled in the Autumn. I am really looking forward to it as I am planning to plant even more bee-friendly plants in my flower borders this year.



Yes, I'm going to watch that roseyrow, I've set it to record incase I forget its on. Really looking forward to it as well. 

Kate Bradbury

Hi all, sightings of bees (particularly bumblebees) in winter are becoming more common, so try to have something in flower for any that visit your garden. They won't find much sustenance in winter pansies, I'm afraid! Try winter-flowering clematis and honeysuckle, daphne, mahonia, heather. And if you find any bumblebees that look like they're struggling to fly, you could make them a solution of sugar and water (equal prts of each) to give them the energy to fly.

Looking to spring and summer, make sure you have plants in flower all year long. Favourites include red clover and viper's bugloss, but a more comprehensive list is available from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust here



Kate, the bumblebees (and ladybirds) were enjoying the nectar in the flowers of the rosemary bush at the Botanic garden today.  As they get covered in flowers and usually flower all winter long perhaps we should be adding this to our list of

flowers to help the bees through the winter.  They come in blue, pink and white varieties and the leaves do wonders for roast potatoes and lamb dishes.

Kate Bradbury

Oh, definitely, happymarion, rosemary is a great early source of nectar and polen for insects. I have just spent half an hour at the base of a Berberis julianae, where lots of bees were congregated. I think they hibernate beneath it over winter, so they don't have far to travel for food in spring!


Yesterday, when the sun shone, and I'd finally got into the garden to do a little tidying up, I found my winter heathers were all but swarming with honey bees. It was only the second of March and I had bees buzzing all over.

Oh, Kate quick question, how do I get the bees to stay still long enough for me to feed them the sugar water? Use a pipette or put a saucer out?

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