A walk on a summer’s evening.
Honey bee on hogweed. They appear to get very little pollen from these flowers, but instead swish their proboscis enthusiastically about in the nectar like a watercolour artist swirling their brush. I recommend Theresa Green’s post Hogweed days to find out more about this plant, including why its flowers mimic the smell of pigs!
And this beetle likes them too. I was surprised when the beetle suddenly took off and flew away, I got the photo just in time. Doesn’t its bum look like it could be its face?
A pretty pink version.
An important flower has come out. When you’re walking around on shortish grass, tread carefully. For there might be a delicate bee hidden in a clover flower. Can you see her beady eyes below?
Clover honey is one of my all-time favourite honeys. Elizabeth Gowing describes it in her Little Book of Honey as “sweet and light, with a citrus tang which changes to a sourish aftertaste that stops it being sickly to eat”.
Red clover is very popular with bumble bees but not honey bees, as their tongues are too short. Both bumbles and honey bees love white clover.
One of the beekeepers at the apiary today told me that the local bees were going absolutely crazy about the blackberry bramble bush at his allotment, so much so that passers by were getting afraid. It has been around 26C today – a real treat and about as hot as it ever gets here – and sun-loving plants will be excreting more nectar than usual.
A nectar flow is on! These photos were taken last Sunday, on a nice but less intensely hot day.
The thistles are favourites too. In The Little Book of Honey Elizabeth Gowing also tries thistle honey, which she says is “fragrant, spicy, reminiscent of… wait a minute – this honey really does taste like geraniums. My mind boggles; so what would geranium honey taste of?”
EDIT: identified by standingoutinmyfield in her comment below as a Canada thistle.
These flowers were much taller than me. They reminded me of fireworks going off against the sky.
EDIT: identified by standingoutinmyfield in her comment below as likely to be hemlock.
Being out in the sunshine makes me happy. And the bees too.
The next flowers to come along in the park during August will be rosebay willow-herb and ragwort. I’m gradually getting to know my local wild flowers, which I never knew much about before the bees came into my life.
Hope the weather’s good where you are, not too cold and not too hot, not too rainy but not too dry… if that’s possible.