Last year I never got round to clipping one of the hedges down the side of our front garden. It's a type of broom, I think, and produces a colourful show each spring and autumn. Over the winter I kept looking at it, feeling guilty for letting it get quite so overgrown, but told myself I wouldn't be wise to tackle it before the frosts were over. However, even before the end of February, new flower buds were forming. I'd left it too late.
Now I'm glad, and my laziness has paid off because it's a mass of red flowers, attracting bees in great numbers. Honey bees mostly, but also dozens of carpenters. I've never seen so many of those black "bombers", as Robin has nicknamed them, all at once. Sometimes they knock into one another as they compete for a flower. An astounding sight this early in the year.
Click on photos to enlarge.
This is the first year that young tree has bloomed, and I'm hopeful it might even give us some fruit this summer, now that the bees are doing their thing!
Bumbles, more than honeys, seem to love this bush - perhaps because they have longer tongues to get into its long flowers. The little one below rarely stayed still, so I never quite managed to capture his white hairy face. But I notice he also seems to have white tufts on his knees.