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Follow our progress as beekeepers, running the nursery, creating our own bee-haven and conducting research into the best plants for bees

Record bee numbers observed: helenium autumnale

  Three honey bees on just one helenium stem

 

Three honey bees on just one helenium stem

Some of you will know that at rosbee we are trying to quanify how attractive various plants are to bees; we monitor all our plants every week and count bee per square meter. 

Today, 21st of August was very warm with only the gentlest of breezes and at 3pm we counted a record number of bees per square meter on our patch of helenium autumnale. It was very difficult to count them as there were so many and they do tend to move about. I called my son to help and between us we counted 3 times each, compared numbers and decided that 32 was a conservative and safe figure. There may have been more bees because, although the majority were honey bees, there were also a considerable number of a very active but tiny solitary bees zipping around and darting on and off the flowers. The tiny bees were mainly lasioglossums - probably fulvicorne - and I have never seen them in such numbers or state of apparent excitement before.

In total I noted 5 species of bee but without being able to photograph the all solitary ones its very difficult to identify the species.

We have been counting bees for 3 years now and an observation of 32 bees far exceeds the previous high of 21.  Other plants also seemed to have move bees than usual with the veronicastrum recording 17 bees which is also a very high number.  I must have been special weather conditions and numbers were much less today.

I am now very excited about how all this data will look when we get to the end of the season: watch out for our results around Christmas time!

 

our square meter of helenium autumnale with 32 bees counted

our square meter of helenium autumnale with 32 bees counted

by rosi