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Anybody noticed these little workers ?


By driad


These black bees turn up every year about this time when the Mock castor oil plant is in bloom . It was very cold on Thursday and they were still feeding !
It is in bloom a little later that usual , but they still turn up .
The plant seems to be akin to Ivy that blooms late as well , that was about 3wks ago , and a similar buzzy thing feeds from it , although they seem more like a swarm of flies .

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It's nice to see life going on in the autumn, when nature seems to be shutting down for winter :o)

8 Nov, 2014


There are plenty of them aren't there? I have never seen black ones. Strange about the ivy - doesn't it usually flower in late winter? I'm sure I remember reading it was a good early source of pollen. This year its flowered already though and the berries are forming - tough on any insects depending on it at the end of winter!

8 Nov, 2014


Don't think I've ever noticed any black ones either but that does not mean they aren't around, will have to take more notice now, thankyou Driad....

9 Nov, 2014


We have lots of black wasps on the Island and they are very aggressive. They do look little bit like black flies.

9 Nov, 2014


These don't seem to be aggressive , though , they are too busy .
Funny old times we are living in , Stera . I have never noticed the ivy blossom in late winter , I will observe .
Thank you all for your comments .

9 Nov, 2014


ivy blooms pretty much all the time from October through to March. and the fruits ripen from late nov to they are all eaten etc.

10 Nov, 2014


A mine of onfo Seaburngirl ,thank you .

10 Nov, 2014


I've actually seen bees out on a sunny day in winter. It used to worry me they would die from cold, but surely they know what they're doing?

10 Nov, 2014


Interesting SBG. I don't remember seeing it flower as early as this before but it may be different where you live, being so much further north. there are still one or two butterflies about down here!

10 Nov, 2014


yes we still have flutterbys out and about. The ivy is wonderful.

11 Nov, 2014


This plant looks like a Fatshedera Lizei (Fat Headed Lizzie) to me, I have a large one in my garden which is about 8 feet tall, it also produces clusters of black berries (I don't know if they are edible or not) I have not noticed any black bees around them, perhaps the ones you see are the original British Black Bee, which was decimated by desease many years ago. The flowers tend to be much in demand by persons for flower arranging.

13 Nov, 2014


yes the picture is not of ivy which is what I was talking about. I don't grow the Fatshedera.

14 Nov, 2014


I call this Mock Castor Oil , but I don't know the botanical name but it does have a similar habit to ivy , and attracts the same bee-y things .

14 Nov, 2014


I feel silly now - lookng again it clearly isn't ivy. We used to call it a castor oil plant too Driad. I hated them when I was in my teens, can't think why now.

14 Nov, 2014


It's not particularly pretty , Stera .
This was a rescue from Woolworths a good 25yrs ago . It lived indoors for a year , and then I split it in two and planted them out . They are still going strong , in spite of OH taking crafty snips off them when I'm not looking .

16 Nov, 2014

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