One of my failed missions for Gardener's World Live was to find and purchase ladybirds (in some format or other). Alas, I could buy a hot-tub (and possibly a car?) at Gardener's World Live - but no ladybirds were to be found. To the internets!
Green Gardener will do you all manner of ladybird bundles (and your very own Bumblebee Nest, but I digress) but I opted for the cheapest, as this was strictly in an experimental vein. This turned out to be a great idea! The pack is slim enough to slip through a letterbox:
If you're looking at that and thinking, aie, they're a bit tiny, you're right. These are very young ladybird larvae - not the groovy big aphid eating machines you get immediately before pupation. But from tiny larvae, great things may still result. As evening fell, I gently shook one or two onto my blackfly infested broad beans (they're so small, it's a difficult job) as per instructions before heading over to a particularly impressively aphid-infested rose. Here a gust of wind took that annoying, fiddly task straight out of my hands and all over the rose, the ground, and the neighbouring plants.
A week later, the broad beans are still labouring under their blackfly load, the ant-farmers having presumably made short work of the tiny larvae. The rose, although I cannot find any of my larvae, is suspiciously free of aphids.
Ladybirds by post. Approved. Hurrah for the endless appetites of insects!