Posted: 24/05/2016 at 17:38
Open the flower bud up and see if there is a larva (wiggly worm type) inside the bud.
You may have AQUILEGIA GALL MIDGE
pick off all infected buds and burn to break the life cycle.
From the Touchwood aquilegias site....
“The poor development of flowers on your aquilegia is due to a pest known as the aquilegia gall midge, Macrolabis aquilegiae.This has orange white larvae, up to 2-3mm long, that feed inside the developing flower buds and prevent normal flower development. The midge was first recorded in Britain in 2009. Infested plants have now been found in Kent, Essex, Surrey, Devon and North Yorkshire, indicating that it may be widespread and has gone undetected for a number of years.
As it is a relatively new pest in the UK, little is known about its biology. However, it is specific to aquilegias and will not affect any other plants. The larval feeding period is likely to be short, occurring over a few weeks in May, after which the maggots go down into the soil to pupate. There is currently no control for this pest other than the removal of infested flower buds before the larvae have completed their feeding.”