Snakes-head Fritillaries with Attendant Bee

Walking around the gardens of Docwra’s Manor in Cambridgeshire we came across a small orchard with swathes of fritillaries (Fritillaria meleagris) growing in the long grasses, on one of which was this splendid bumble bee.

I recall at about the age of six being given a “starter” collection of pressed wild flowers by an aged aunt that included one of these flowers collected from an Exmoor meadow. Later I learned just how rare the species is in the wild due to the loss of old hay meadows, their natural habitat, many of which were ploughed up in WW2 for food production but at least today they are at least relatively common in gardens though suitable sites for wild ones are ever in decline.

Snakes-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) with attendant bee
Snakes-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) with attendant bee

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