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Talkback: Winter flowers and bumblebees

I still have flower on my Hebe and the Mahonia has just started to flower I haven't seen any flower on the Hellebore yet. Oldchippy.


  • Are you still seeing bumblebees O ldchippy?  I haven't seen any since the

    first frost here and I don't think I have any hibernating in my bee box .

  • I think you ll find hibernate in winter.image

  • Thanks Flowering Rose.....Thought I'd sent this earlier to you....too

    much red wine again!!image

  • This spring the bumbles appreciated the mahonia aquifolium. What I have also seen in the past is that blue tits are attracted to some (not all) Mahonia x media types. I think they also are taking advantage.

    Talking of frosts - minus 5 this evening, sparkly brrrrr. I wonder when the redwings and fieldfares will arrive.

    What is still flowering in the garden? Nothing, bar some violas. The frosts will nip back their flowers, but they'll produce odd blooms in milder spells. The rest is being reduced to structural bones. The larch has shed the vast majority of its needles, the beech has lost most of its leaves. The birches cling to a few yellowing leaves, the berberis leaves are taking on a deeper hue of red so there is still colour scattered around.
  • Not much in flower now although I did see a small bumble bee yesterday. There were quite a few queen wasps yesterday too looking for somewhere to hibernate. The favourite plant for early bees( I saw one in January this year) is the winter flowering honeysuckle (lonicera fragrantissima). Bullfinches destroy the flowers but it's lovely to see those too.

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    My hellebore Winter Bells has three flowers on.

    Not seen any bumblebees for a couple of weeks. Seen the occasional wasp. 

    Still got flowers on Scabiosa Barocca, but no insects bothering with it.

    Mahonia Charity is full of flowers, but not in an accessible place for me to check out wildlife. The birds are going down the feeders rapidly so I think they currently prefer a "ready meal" rather than finding their own. image

  • Bess will come out to feed any time the weather is warm enough - some are still around now when the sun shines. Ivy is an important food plant for them at the moment. I've also seen bees on the white flowers of Fatsia, and in the clematis (Freckles). It's surprising what they can find at any time of year.

  • Fascinating about the change in habits of bumblebee- must have a good look if we get a nice day. I have mahonia, viburnum bodnantense and fragrans and coronilla in full flower and other small bits and pieces hanging on

  • higgy50higgy50 Posts: 184

    I have also been thinking about these delightful bees and planning for a Spring garden which my garden has somewhat lacked until now!

    I have started with several types of crocus all known for early pollen and planted the bulbs under my lawn alongside Snakes Head Fritillaries, about 300 bulbs if memory serves me right!

    Camassia is another early flowering bulb which Spring Bumblebees will feed on, so again I have planted plenty of bulbs around our garden which stays wet through winter but dries rock hard in summer. This is actually good conditions for Camassia so they should hopefully naturalise given time I hope. Again I have planted three different varieties to try and establish the best one for bees.

    My winter garden has now highlighted a few gaps which will need filing so I will take a few tips from here to see what I can stick in!



  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,422

    Nice blog higgy

    I recommend Pulmonaria rubra for early bees. It's in flower already and will still be flowering when the other pulmonarias open up.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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