Bee Hive in Spring

In a window of sunshine amid clouds and rain last weekend we opened the beehives. Beresford’s hive was full of brood, with only a bit of honey left. Luckily we were prepared for this as it was exactly what our beekeeping friend had thought might happen, so we gave the hive sugar water and pollen substitute. This seemed to go down well.

Continue reading “Bee Hive in Spring”


Breakfast for Bees

I was surprised the other morning as I walked around the garden listening and looking to see what the bees were enjoying most this week. Hundreds of bees were leaving and returning to the hive, ignoring the blazing mass of goldenrod, dahlias, coreopsis, and heleniums I have planted, not to mention the masses of wild carrot and thistles which have edged in to take advantage of the new compost.

The blue mist and the sedums down the driveway were happily filled with bumble bees, but not many honeys. When I arrived at the Louisa plum trees the reason was clear, fruit was the breakfast choice. On the tree and on the ground, the overripe and bird-pecked plums were full of bees. Not a wasp in sight, only bees.

bees on bird pecked fruit plums

I haven’t seen this before, but several things are different this year. We have had unusual cold weather – it’s now been now confirmed that it has been 1 degree colder than the norm this summer. We also have seen none of the Vespula wasps which often infest the area at this time of year. And it’s the first year that the Louisas have had a good crop of fruit.

Later in the day, as C was cooking second breakfast, the bees were having lunch in the asters.


bumble bee on dianthus

Flowers for Bees in mid Summer

Artichokes, scarlet runner beans, pumpkin, zucchini, tomatillos and other vegetables,  herbs, and flowers were full of bees in January.

Scarlet runner beans are so pretty and useful. This year I collected the mature beans to try as dried beans, since they get past it so quickly. The dried beans are very pretty, but I have yet to taste them.

bumble bee on scarlet runnerOregano flowers are extra popular.

honey bee on oregano

bumble bee on oregano

Continue reading “Flowers for Bees in mid Summer”

bumble bee on wallflower

Plants for Bees in Early Summer

Each month I’ve tried to photograph the most popular flowers for bees and bumble bees. Summer was a blur of growing and harvesting which is slowing now so I can post some of them.

Soldier poppies, California poppies and some of the later perennial poppies continued into December and later and were often full of bumble bees which blended so well and buried themselves so deep they often looked like part of the flower.

bumble bees on poppies
Continue reading “Plants for Bees in Early Summer”

canna cut flowers And fuchsia Gartenmeister

In a Vase on Easter Monday – Cannas and Cows

Well, first of all I have to admit to being wrong about bees and Jerusalem Artichokes. We had another storm and quite a few of the tall flowers were blown over, including one of the Cannas in my vase. With the Jerusalem Artichokes at a height I can see, and possibly now that they are more developed, they are attracting all sorts of creatures.

jerusalem artichoke flower wih 3 bees

Including lots of bees.

bee in jerusalem artichoke flower

jerusalem artichokes in autumn sun

So, anyway, I’ve picked a fallen over Canna, ‘Australia’, which has dark purple leaves and a Canna Indica warszewiczii which has dark purple stems and green leaves, and some of the stalwart Fuschia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’  which has been flowering since before Christmas. It has purple stems and the backs of the leaves are purple, although that’s not very evident in the photo. While I was taking the photo in the last of the light the neighbour’s cows came up to have a good look while eating their dinner, and a couple volunteered to be Easter cows.  So then I got distracted by them and ran out of light entirely and had to come inside.

canna and fuscia cut flowers

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts this meme.