I take it all back ... a few days of sunshine and the garden is positively buzzing and I've never noticed such a variety of bees here before.
It's almost impossible to relax in the garden at the moment with the constant buzzing and tweeting. My walk to work is completely distracted as movements catch my attention and need investigation.
I think I know the Honey Bee but there are a number of bees that look similar and I'm pretty sure they are Solitary Bees. There are over 270 types of bee in the UK. 25 of these are Bumblebees (including the Cuckoos) and one Honeybee. The rest are known as Solitary Bees and many are very specialist and unlikely to be seen in my garden.
In my struggle to get some photos I've noticed that the length of time devoted to each flower not only depends on the type of bee but also on the flower design.
I have dedicated hours trying to get a photo of the all black female hairy footed flower bee with no success - it darts very quickly from one flower to the next barely stopping. Whereas you have plenty of time to watch a bee roll around the centre of a welsh poppy provided you don't spook it with your looming black phone!
The images below are a selection of the bees in my garden this week taken on my phone. I have labelled them with best guess identification but I'm happy to be corrected.
If I had known then what I know now
I would have started this diary years ago
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