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Monday, 2 March 2009

Bees in Helebores, Winter Honeysuckle and Crocuses

The warm weather has brought out the bees and they are in the garden in large numbers, feeding off the helebores (see pic), winter-flowering honeysuckle and crocuses (sp?). The pollen from the crocuses is very noticable on their back legs - it's bright orange. Like saffron - which are the stamens from a type of crocus (I think).

Another new odd behaviour: sucking at wet oak leaves. Now I know they need water. All living creatures do. Bees use it to dilute the honey that they take from the comb. But here's the odd thing: I have put a tray of water in front of the hive, complete with smooth rocks, so that it's easy to land and drink. But few of them use this - preferring to find a warm spot with some damp oak leaves and have a good old suck.