It’s dangerous going down to the Ealing apiary. Not because of the bees, but because of the amount of cake on offer. This week I made pecan pie, Claire made a honey show recipe cake, Matwinder brought prunes soaked in raspberry juice and Pat some chocolate fudge squares. Obviously I had to try a piece of each to test it all 🙂
Above, my attempt at Paul Hollywood’s pecan pie recipe. I made the pastry myself and everything, which is hard for me. The filling is lovely and gooey, full of golden syrup and butter.
Claire is a doctor and a talented singer too. On top of that she makes a fine honey cake. She was following the National Honey Show’s honey fruit cake recipe; it tasted great but the dip in the middle would have prevented it being a winning entry. The judges are very keen on presentation!
Oh yes, and I did see some bees in-between stuffing myself with goodies. Mouseguards are on now. Here are two of John’s New Zealanders checking theirs out. There was talk of a kind of British shrew which can fit through a mouseguard, but all agreed they are unlikely to turn up in Ealing.
The bees were bringing plenty of golden yellow pollen back; John thought this was likely to be from Michelmas daisies. The Michelmas daisy takes its name because its blooms historically coincided with the Feast of St Michael on 29th September.
Some Autumnal pics:
These thistle balls have sharp arms which stick wonderfully to fluffy jumpers and hair. Drew and me had a great time throwing them at each other.
Below: ivy flowers. The bees are going crazy for these up and down the country right now. Although a very useful late nectar source for over-wintering bees, ivy nectar can crystallize in the flowers or, after storage, in the honeycomb and become unavailable to the bees (Plants and Honey Bees: their relationships by David Aston & Sally Bucknall, 2009). Pollen loads are yellow-orange and the honey white.
Blog posts of the week:
Nature’s Place, ‘Stingless Sugarbag Bees‘
I guarantee these macro bee shots will blow you away. They are the best I’ve come across online yet. Can you see all her eyes? (here’s a clue: bees have five eyes, not two). If you want to know how Mark does it, read his ‘Macro Illustrated‘ post.
Disperser Tracks, ‘The Busy Bees – Summer 2012‘
Emilio J. D’Alise is based in Colorado and takes mainly (spectacular) wildlife and nature photos; he has a dry sense of humour which I appreciate, and this week has turned his talents to the bees in his garden visiting Russian sage.