Pollinators and ivy

Yesterday’s Country diary in the Guardian was all about ivy flowers. I have loads of mature English ivy (Hedera helix) on my trees and have recently heard a lot of insects buzzing around it when I’ve been pottering.

Today I decided to see if I could get any photos. I particularly wanted a photo of the ivy bee – and yes, one was low enough down for me to get it on camera!

       Colletes hederae Ivy Bee on ivy flowers

The other bee I managed to get a photo of was a white-tailed bumble, which appeared to fall asleep for a while.


The ladybird was enjoying itself, too and would have been looking for aphids or other tiny insects.

                          7-spot ladybird

This painted lady was on the ivy today

                           Painted lady

and the other day I spotted 3 red admirals on the ivy in one of my ditches:

                Red admirals in ditch

This article from a couple of years ago, also in the Guardian, is about butterflies and ivy, and I hope you enjoy it: Lifestyle choice of the world’s most cosmopolitan butterfly

It’s worth having some mature ivy in your wildlife garden. See this link and enjoy:


5 Responses

  1. gertie says:

    Before the ‘gentrification’ of the rampant wild garden adjacent and at the back of GG, we had mature, flowering Ivy over the wall. I remember how much the pigeons used to love it Jane :-) Thanks for this, and the lovely photos. :good: :rose:

    • Thanks, Anne – it’s a much maligned plant. The pigeons love the berries in the winter. Because we have so much, we choose a tree or two to cut back each year and this year we have 2 covered bird boxes, so it will be reduced on those ;-)

  2. cilla says:

    There are loads of ivy flowers in the hedgerows and I have some in the garden. there are always lots of buzzers and butterflies on them. I was reading that, although some painted ladies are on the move a later brood are arriving. Lovely pics Jane, well caught.

    • Thanks, Cilla :-) Yep, the painted ladies are interesting in their migration. In the article I link to above (Lifestyles…), it says “the painted lady undertakes its journeys in relays, one butterfly pausing and quickly reproducing – moving from egg to butterfly in eight weeks – before its offspring continues the migration”.

  3. cilla says:

    We must make the most of them as we probably won’t see them again for years.

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