That is a cute story SueA. It really made me smile. It really wanted to be with you. I saw one of these red bumbles on the washing line. The first red one I have seen. Funny, as there were no flowers there.
While clearing the violas from the front raised bed to make it ready for the New Guinea Impatiens, I saw a furry all black solitary bee digging a hole in the very dry soil close to the front wall of the house. She was dragging the soil backwards from the hole using her back legs to push it out the way. It was fascinating to watch There are a couple of other holes nearby but I didn't see any bees going into them. Now I know they are there I'll avoid that end when I plant the Impatiens.
I woke up a huge white tailed bumblebee which was under the compost in one of the hanging baskets I was changing the other day. I put it on the erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' plant where it flew in & out for a while & then flew off, hope it found somewhere else to sleep!
My mate grows 3000 tomato plants and uses bees to pollinate , the good thing is this year I think we have actually banned something from the EU imported bees, British bees for him this year the down side is they have gone up £10 a box
Just been watching Gardeners' World and my old acquaintance, Gareth Baker, was on, passing on a bee swarm to Monty Don.
About ten years ago, Gareth was one of my food forum members and I took him and a few others to a London Food Show, then he was helping Phillipa Forrester with her hive and now he seems to be the 'go to' bee keeper on telly programmes. So proud of his success.
Great honey, too, especially the starflower his bees collect.
Anyone who needs to get in touch with him, let me know.
I watched the programme dianthus , your friend was very informative & it was very interesting especially the way the bees made their way up the ramp into the hive. They should be very happy in Monty's massive garden!
Swarms always look scary but I keep reading/hearing that the bees in a swarm won't attack you because they have nothing to defend as they don't have a hive/nest/pollen/young to protect, I still wouldn't want to get too close without someone who knew how to handle them though.
I mentioned this point to my friend and neighbour who has two hives only now and she said it is not strictly true and she dresses for the collection. I am pleased she has some now as I have hers in my garden.