We have been reading a lot about the positive effect of lockdown on the environment, everything from cleaner air and water to herds of goats wandering into towns.

And then a couple of weeks ago we thought was a wasp nest in the garden. On closer inspection, it turned out that these were not wasps at all, but mining bees. These bees live underground and are solitary, although they sometimes live close to eachother.
Male Tawny Mining Bee
As I watched the mining bees flit from flower to flower, stopping for a drink from the bird bath, I started thinking about bees more generally. Not long ago we were being told that the future of the bee is in jeopardy because of pollution and that without the bees mankind will die out very quickl. Has any of this changed?
Banded White-tailed Bumblebee
As I walked around our garden today I noticed several different types of bee. I'm no expert but I definitely saw about 5 or 6 quite different species. A very distinctive species is the Banded White-tailed Bumblebee.
Bees enjoying the flowers of our Cranesbill

Are there more bees than last year? Has lockdown helped the bee? I don't really know. But there was certainly plenty of pollinating going on today.