If you asked me to choose my favourite animal the humble bee would be in there with a very strong chance of winning. I love the way that they're tiny little insects without whom our eco-systems would simply collapse. I also think it's great that, in terms of physics, the bumble bee shouldn't really be able to fly but fly they do! It's so reassuring to see them buzzing from plant to plant on the plot, and there are plenty to watch because I do everything I can to encourage as many of them to visit as possible. Bees love the flowers on comfrey and also on calendula so I make as much room for them as possible. Calendula also has edible flowers which look amazing in salads and comfrey, as you probably know, is an essential tool for the organic gardener.
My bee obsession is such that, when I see a tired bumble bee unable to fly on the floor I pick them up and try my hardest to help them recuperate. Often bees end up in this predicament when they fly too far from home and all they need is a sugar boost to power them up for their return journey. If I'm at home it's best to sit them on the edge of a spoon of honey, jam or sugar water and leave them in peace until they feel ready to go. If I'm at the plot and that isn't to hand I pick them up and find a pollen rich flower to sit them on - that's what had happened to the little bee on the picture which is why he was sitting still enough to be photographed. If they aren't buzzing it means they're extremely unlikely to sting you so and it's even possible, if you're very gentle, to give them a stroke on their back and see just how soft they actually are - who ever said animals need fur to be cute and fluffy was telling a lie!