The Natural History of Uckfield by Wendy Tagg

Suddenly it sounds like spring. On a sunny day, there’s a gentle buzz as insects pollinate flowers. Some are bee mimics – predators are wary of anything that looks like it stings.

Dark-edged Bee-fly

One to look out for is Bee-flies. You will often see these tiny bundles of fluff in sunny spots near the ground. This year, thanks to the warm sunshine in February, the first UK bee-flies were seen 11 days earlier than they had ever been seen before. They particularly like Lesser Celandines (pictured) and Primroses.

Tawny Mason Bee

There are all sorts of bees to look out for including the Tawny Mason Bee shown. She will lay her eggs in cracks and crevices, or maybe a bee hotel.

Marmalade Hoverfly

You can often see hoverflies pollinating flowers or hovering in shafts of sunlight. The Marmalade Hoverfly in the photo probably visits your garden and is easy to identify from the “Mexican moustache” shapes on its abdomen.

Bluebells in Boothland Wood

… and don’t forget to look out for Bluebells. I’ve already seem some flowering in a sun trap by the side of the railway, give it another couple of weeks and the woodland floors will be carpeted in blue.