Bumblebee on echinacea flower

Days of Celebration

There have been two special days this week, both celebrating something dear to my heart. The first was the sixth international ‘Fascination of Plants Day’, coordinated by the European Plant Science Organisation on Wednesday (May 18th). The second was ‘World Bee Day’ on Friday (May 20th).

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know how crazy I am about plants. Flowers and plants have been a special love for me for many years now. That has gradually led me into a love of bees and other pollinators too. (As far as I’m concerned, you really can’t have one without the other.) It’s appropriate that both days fall within the same week.

The Fascination of Plants Day was organised to get as many people as possible interested in plants, and in plant science and conservation. It aimed to increase the appreciation of the role they play in providing us with food and products such as pharmaceuticals. Considering that we would not be able to survive without plants (for even the air we breathe), their study has to be one of the most important areas of research.

Many plants wouldn’t be able to survive without bees and other insects to pollinate them. In the UK, a project to create ‘Bee Lines’ to connect areas of habitat throughout the country has been set up by the conservation group ‘Buglife’. You can see the details of how this will make it easier for bees and others to find the food and breeding areas they need here.

Anyone with a garden, or even just a balcony with pots or some window boxes, can grow plants which will help to keep bees alive. You can read advice on how you can help bumblebees in your garden on this page by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. There is also a very informative plant list for bees written by Dave Goulson here.

This year I’ll be trying to add to the bee-friendly plants in the garden. I may even see a few species of bees that I hadn’t noticed before. (But I probably won’t be able to say what they are – I find bee identification very difficult!) It’s a joy to hear the garden buzzing with bees and to see them busy in the flowers.

Thank you to blogger Steven Schwartzman for kindly letting me know about Fascination for Plants Day.

Common Carder bee on Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Common Carder bee on Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’, syn. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (stonecrop)

20 thoughts on “Days of Celebration

  1. Like you, I find bee identification difficult. Thank goodness for BugGuide, and for some of the various sites I’ve found. At least I can distinguish honey bees from our native bees now! Like you, I began with an interest in flowers, but it wasn’t long before I figured out those flowers were filled with insect life of all kinds — especially those buzzy bees. Your photos are delightful; it helps that the bees are willing to settle for a while when they find something yummy to sip!

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    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one, hehe! I do have a guide to bumblebees but I really need one that covers the other bee species too. I’m glad you like the photos…I’m still hoping that a red-tailed bumblebee will hang around long enough for me to photograph it properly. (They seem to move around a lot more.)

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  2. I was watching a tiny bee flit from flower to flower on my Cassmia leichtlinii ‘Alba’ this afternoon, no idea what sort of bee it was but it was very small and had well packed pollen baskets!

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    1. It’s exciting to spot some new visitor to the garden, especially a bee. (OK, maybe not exactly exciting to spot another snail, aphid etc. but you know what I mean, hehe!)

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  3. This is the third World Bee Day post I’ve read here now, how times flies (like the bees). I’ll properly check out the bee plant list. Nice to see the sedum Autumn Glory. I spent a long time trying to find this. When I finally got some, my lass moved and before she left I was able to dig hers up out of the garden. So now I have two. Hopefully attractive to pollinators.

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    1. I’m glad that people have made posts about World Bee Day – bees, especially the bumbles and other wild ones, need all the help they can get. Your sedums will be a very welcome late source of food for the bees and butterflies too šŸ™‚

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    1. Bees are so similar to each other! It’s difficult to tell them apart, even when looking at guides, but I shall persist! I enjoy seeing all the little visitors to my patch and learning how to make them feel at home – happy times! šŸ™‚

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  4. Hi Ann! I commend you for liking bees – I have always been a little afraid of them. I get hives when they sting me but I do appreciate how important they are to the plant kingdom. I do have some in my front flower garden, but we pretty much stay away from each other when I am working on it. Phew!

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    1. I don’t blame you for giving bees a wide berth if you get a nasty reaction to the stings. I’m lucky in that I’ve only been stung once – by a wasp that had settled in a gardening glove. I’m more likely to get bitten by mozzies or stung by nettles. Argh! (BTW, I’ve read that if a bumblebee waves a leg at you, it’s feeling threatened and warning you to back off…something I shall bear in mind when I’m trying to photograph them.)

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      1. That is good information to know. I do find bees interesting and I seem to have a few different varieties flying around the flowers, but I do give them plenty of room. It seems that they are not out all day long, just at certain times. I need to figure that out better!

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    1. It was the first time I’d heard of the day too. Apparently there are events arranged for it worldwide, so there may be a chance to take part in something next year. Glad you liked the pic! šŸ™‚

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