Raindrops on rose buds

It’s gonna bee a bright, bright, bright sunshiney day!

raindrops_tulip

At dawn, there was a sharp heavy downpour, which cleared quickly, followed by a bright blue sky, fresh, not a breath of wind. Out on the early morning dog walk, I noticed that the raindrops had stayed fat and heavy on the flowers and foliage – plus the sun was now glinting off and through them. Dog walk cut short, I dashed back for the camera, this time not anticipating much in the way of bee shots, but potential for trying something new with the sparkling rain drops.

reflective raindrops

reflective raindrops

I am liking the general idea of some of these shots – especially this one below of the raindrop with my house upside down, but am thinking some of them should be marked ‘Could Do Better’. I hope you still think that they are worth posting!

raindrop_bioue

iris_raindrops

raindrops_grass_2

raindrops on rose bud

raindrops on rose bud

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Bee Forage : April

honey bee on Brassica napus

honey bee amongst the oilseed rape

The big bee-forage news this month must be the oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Fruit trees continue to blossom in the orchard, notably the pear, cherry and quince – but the overriding draw surely comes from the distinctive bright yellow swathes, pushing up all over the countryside.

The pollen is quite evidently plentiful, and the bees are returning to the hive with baskets full to busting.

is pollen good for the complexion?

is pollen good for the complexion?

Given that this is our first April with the hive, we are mindful of the precise timing required for a rapeseed honey harvest – as this particular honey has a tendency to crystallise rapidly. We are keeping a close eye on stores within the hive, and added a super 7 days ago. We could be in for a good harvest of honey – but must ensure that it is extracted from the comb before having the chance to set rock hard.

honey bee in amongst the oilseed rape

perhaps its time to start thinking about returning your load to the hive?

Maybe the OSR honey will be tempered with nectar from the orchard blossoms, which are also quite plentiful – we shall have to wait and see!

honey bee on pear blossom - doyenne du comice to be exact

honey bee on pear blossom – doyenne du comice to be exact

honey bees on apple blossom - this one is a Bramley apple

honey bees on apple blossom – this one is a Bramley apple

Bee Friendly Shrub : Bush Germander

I was given a small, mystery plant in Autumn 2010, and popped it in the ground at the top a bank, not knowing what to expect. Luckily this well-drained sunny position suited it down to a ‘t’ and it has since flourished, proliferating vigorously, and above all it turns out to be quite the bee magnet – attracting the attention of the honey bees and bumblebees.

bee on tree germander (Teucrium fruticans)

common carder bee (Bombus pascuorum) on bush germander (Teucrium fruticans)

It is a mediterranean native with downy grey-green, aromatic foliage. The flower is interesting and intricate – icy blue petals with deep purple veins, sporting great-reaching, show-off stamen, designed perfectly to rub themselves sneakily on the bee’s back as they get on with the business of sucking up nectar.

beehind you!

beehind you!

Teucrium was named for Teucer, the legendary first king of Troy who pioneered use of these plants as medicinals. He was a great archer and fought alongside his half-brother Ajax in the Trojan War. Fruticans, more banally, means shrubby.

got you!

got you!