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Posts tagged ‘bees’

Of Bees & Apple Blossoms

Bees amaze me. The amount of work they do is incredible. I keep some chilli plants in my sun room. I recently read that when keeping fruiting plants indoors where there are no bees you need to cross-pollinate the flowers yourself by gently sticking the tip of your finger into each flower in turn. The process takes a bit of time, but my plants are small and I only have a few of them, so it really doesn’t take too long. Then I look at our apple trees, completely covered in blooms. I can’t imagine how long it would take if I had to cross-pollinate all those individual flowers myself. Thank goodness for the bees, who tireless make their way from bloom to bloom, ensuring my tree is heavy with delicious apples later in the season. Seeing the bees enveloping the stamen with their tiny legs, clinging on as they extract the nectar for honey, is really quite fascinating. Read more

Forces of Nature

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower. Dandelions are in full bloom at this time of year. To me, they are beautiful – a sea of gold as far as the eye can see. All parts of the plant are edible – leaves, petals, seeds and even the roots. They are an all-in-one superfood and they’re free, yet we’re mowing them down at a rate of knots. Quite apart from their beauty and their use as food, dandelions are incredibly important to plant life in general. They are a key source of food for bees in early spring when they are just coming out of hibernation. Bees are essential to growing food and vegetables as they cross-pollinate flowers, enabling fruits and vegetables to develop. To me, perfectly manicured lawns devoid of daisies and dandelions are lifeless and insipid. I prefer my garden to be wild and free. Give me a host of golden dandelions any day. Read more

A hive for the honey bee

“Ouch, I’ve been stung”, I said, looking down to see a bee stuck to the leg of my corduroy jeans. “Ouch, I’ve been stung”, my friend’s younger brother mirrored behind me. “There’s no need to mock”, I said, before feeling another sharp prick, this time on the back of my hand. It was only then that I heard the low hum of the hive and realised that we were completely surrounded by bees. Read more