The wonderful spell of warm sunny weather in September was enjoyed not only by us but by insects too, especially butterflies, dragonflies and honey bees.

Small white and red admiral butterflies flew well into the month and I even saw a female large white butterfly, a very scarce species these days.

In my garden are two very large bushy Michaelmas daisies with masses of blooms which acted as a magnet for honey bees from dawn to dusk.  So many visited the flowers at any one time that the plants trembled as the bees landed and took off.

Its good to know that more and more people are installing bee hives in their gardens which somewhat compensates for a decline in the countryside. I've never seen so many honey bees in my garden before. The photo shows a worker bee (sterile female) with its pollen basket  consisting of nectar and pollen which is converted into honey and fed to the larvae. The bees of course perform a valuable service pollinating wild flowers visited.

Unlike wasps which die off in late autumn, honey bees maintain a population of the colony throughout  winter and occasionally fly out to forage and continue feeding their larvae