Thursday, 6 September 2012

More on feeding preferences

We took a stroll out to check the progress of the annuals flower bed at Middleton Park - and found a glorious riot of mostly Cosmidium, glowing in the afternoon sun!  This has been a really successful bed, despite a touch of patchiness in the sowing - there's been a good mix of annual flowers here for most of the summer, now, providing a good food source for local pollinators, and a splash of colour in the park. 

There were hoverflies in abundance, of all shapes and sizes, dizzy with so much choice and falling in and out of one flower after another. 

Hoverfly on Cosmidium at Middleton Park, Leeds

Interestingly, we saw few bumblebees or solitary bees, and those that there were, were managing to ignore the shiningly bright Cosmidium in favour of Autumn hawkbit hanging on around the edges.

Solitary bee on Autumn hawkbit at Middleton Park, Leeds

We've been considering the question of how flowers appear different to bees, compared to how they appear to us, or other pollinators, and I'll expand on this further in a later post (it's past time to knock off for today, there's a whole lot of fieldwork to be done tomorrow!), so prepare yourselves for an investigation into bee-vision and the wonders of modern photographic method :)  All very interesting, I promise you.

1 comment:

  1. Intersting. We definitly see more hoverflies on the flowers which are quite open and accessible, often they are yellow as well. Hoverflies also like the Umbellifer flowers such as fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). Bees like the Compositae flowers and the ones which have more tubular flowers such as in the families Lamiaceae, Boraginaecae and Scrophulariaceae.
    I have a Coreopsis in my allotment with yellow flowers and it is mainly visited by bee mimic flies. I don`t really see other pollinators on these flowers. The plant the bees like most in my allotment is Phacelia, always covered in honeybees and bumblebees. Earlier in the year I have seen lots of little solitary bees in (and swarming around) the flowers of Campanula rotundifolia (harebell. There was not a lot else visiting, just these small solitary bees.