Last flowers of summer

I’ve suddenly realised that summer has come to an end. The vibrant wildflowers below in my local park are now dying back. Berries have taken over in the hedgerows – shiny blackberries, dusky blue sloes, the red of hawthorn. Green acorns hang from the oak trees.

Wildflowers and baby

Wildflowers and baby

Wildflowers

Wildflowers

A few last treats for the bees and butterflies – sedum (ice plant). Bumble bees, honey bees, small tortoisehells and red admiral butterflies can all be found enjoying its sweet smelling scent.

Sedum (ice plant)

Sedum (ice plant)

And last weekend I found my first flowering ivy of the year, by the sea at Flushing. An important last big feed of the year for honey bees. There is even a bee called the ‘Ivy mining bee’, which emerges in the autumn in time for the ivy flowers. The male Ivy bees emerge first, in late August, with females arriving around a month later. Incidentally Ivy has become a popular name for baby girls recently (though I prefer Holly ;))

Ivy at flushing

Ivy at flushing

You may be wondering why all my images now have jazzy coloured borders. Well, a blogger friend of mine reminded me that this can be done. Thank you, Emilio!

My bees are currently doing well, zooming back and forth with bright loads of pollen. I step off the inspections in August, as the threat of swarming has mostly passed. Also, if I did accidentally squash my queen, my colonies might struggle to get a new one mated before drones disappear. Last week I observed my ladies kicking their brothers out of the hive entrance, shoving them away before they could get back in. Unfortunately their free ride of getting fed by their sisters has come to an end. The days are shortening and the focus of the bees and beekeeper is very much on winter preparation. More on that later.

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
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9 Responses to Last flowers of summer

  1. disperser says:

    Nice, and you are welcome.

    Like

  2. hencorner says:

    Mmm, summer in Cornwall ☀️☀️☀️

    Like

  3. Your flowers are a treat to see. We are still very dry here and behind you as the seasons go. We have special limiting entrances on our beehives to allow them to defend themselves better against the hornets. One of the hives’ entrance was almost blocked by dead drones. The others seemed to have managed despite the restricted entrance. We have to keep a careful eye on that at the moment especially as the nights are cool now, Amelia

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  4. sanebishop says:

    Dead drones walking, poor guys. Golden rod has just started blooming here in the south, so fall is likely right around around the corner, even though temps were in the 90s last week.

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  5. Brian Skeys says:

    The wild flowers look wonderful, I hope the weather allows them to continue flowering for some time.

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  6. Still waiting for the ivy bees here in Devon!

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