Ice flowers

Despite sub-zero conditions and darkness, the Mahonia is in full bloom this New Year’s Eve, though I have yet to figure the evolutionary purpose of this  – there are certainly no insects around at the moment. Jane rates Mahonia as one of the plants most likely to attract bumble bees in the winter, so I’ll be watching if the temperature rises a bit!

Ice flower

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2 Responses to “Ice flowers”

  1. It is well worth keeping Mahonia under close observation for winter-active bumblebees (these will be Bombus terrestris). There is a lot of visitation reported this winter (I have 176 records so far), The bees may well be active in temperatures only just above freezing, and the workers will collect nectar and also pollen from the flowers.

    Happy New Year to you and Good Hunting

    Stuart

  2. Thanks, Stuart – Happy New Year to you – I’ll be in touch (with photos if I can) if I have any sightings. Meanwhile for anyone else interested, here’s a link to the BWARS page on Winter Bumblebees

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