Sunday 2 July 2017

How Doth the Little Busy Bee
The first Sunday of July was a gentle, warm, sunny day and life was busy in the garden. Two types of bumble bees were busy on the Veronica, a plant they love.
 The one with the orange overcoat is a Common Carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) and is active from April until November. Carder bees nest in abandoned mouse or bird nests, barns and sheds.

The one with the white bottom is a Buff-tailed bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) sometimes called a large earth bumble bee. This bumble bee is the UK’s largest bumble bee species.
 The photo is slightly out of focus because the bee was flying.

How doth the little busy bee   
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be passed,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.

Meanwhile, there was activity in the pond. Not only is the duckweed spreading rapidly but the fish are spawning, the newts are thriving and the dragonflies are visiting to lay their eggs.

These are Common blue damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum)
They fly from April to September, occasionally October, and are abundant throughout the British Isles. Males are always blue and females may be similarly coloured, or, as in this photo, dull green.

Once the bees had departed the Veronica their place was taken by a Small White butterfly (Pieris rapae)

In the sky overhead soared Red Kites, house martins and a Common gull. They were very high and these photos have been cropped.



  1. I remember that poem from school.....lovely shos of the busy little bee and the birds.

  2. These are such lovely photos and I enjoyed the poem to go with it as well. Happy summer!

  3. I've never know the entire "bee" poem, thank you. I love the photos. I see plenty of bees around when the weather is warm enough, but rarely catch any on camera. Two days ago I had one land on my chest and hitch a ride for a few metres, then fly off again.

  4. Hi Janice - loved the poem and the bee details - let alone the rest of natural life - gorgeous ... really summery - cheers and enjoy lots of summer ahead - Hilary

  5. What perfect pictures! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great aerial shots of the House Martins - not the easiest to get.


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