Some photos of the flowers I’ve seen out and about in Cornwall and in my garden over the last couple of weeks. I like to see what’s in flower and available for the bees.
Below is my miniature apple tree. I mainly see hoverflies and bumbles visiting this. Honey bees tend to favour big collections of one type of flower, so this wee tree is probably not worth it for them.
One of the first bees of the year I see in my garden is the enchantingly named female Hairy-footed flower bee . I always see them on the deep blue flowers of lithodora, which they will visit all day until the early evening. I say ‘see’ them but I usually hear them first, as they’re noisy little bees and very fast, efficient movers – which is why my photo is blurry!
Below is the male hairy footed flower bee, which I first start seeing a couple of weeks after the females. They visit the lithodora flowers too.
Bluebells, daffodils and primroses grow in profusion in Cornwall. I can’t recall seeing as many primroses anywhere else I’ve lived in the UK. Most of the primroses are yellow, but there are some pink blooms too.
I went for a walk along the coast by St Mawes, where a variety of white flowers decorated the verges.
The ones below are not wild garlic, although they smelt very garlicky! Wild garlic flowers have a more star-like, upright shape.
Think these flowers below are three-cornered leek, which can be identified by the green stripes inside their flower. An edible plant which can be used like spring onions.
Below are stitchwort flowers, these grow along hedgerows and in woodland
Sadly my bees, having survived the winter, somehow became queenless around March. I’m now bee-less for the first time in years. I will probably put out a bait hive soon as the bee year is beginning again. I still answer emails for my local association and the queries about swarms and bees in chimneys are just starting!
Lovely photographs of your countryside and wild flowers! I am sorry about your colonies. We lost two hives at the beginning of March, too. I cannot understand why they should survive the winter and go queenless in the spring. They had plenty of previsions, so did not lack food. The varroa count was O.K. before and after treatment in December 21 both had new queens spring 21. Amelia
Thanks Amelia, I’ve heard other beekeepers report losses in spring too. Sorry to hear about yours. Perhaps badly mated queens. It’s really hard to know. Similarly mine had been treated for varroa over winter and had enough food.
Amelia has already commented on your lovely post. We do miss the British countryside. It’s almost three years that we have not been back to the UK.
I am so sorry that you lost your bees. specialy as I know you do all the right things for them. The Federation of Beekeepers here in France say that most of the losses have been in Spring in the colonies that survived the winter. It happens to all of us. I just wish we could help, as sitting at the back of our garden there are already about ten swarms in 6 frame hives. They are all so gemtle. We need just two to fill our two hives that we lost earlier. So if you feel like a quick visit here!!!
Best wishes to you and your family.
Oh wow, ten swarms! And gentle ones too! Very envious. They must know they have found a good place.
Sorry to hear about being bee-less.
But, on the other hand, nice flowers. We had a very quick flowering of trees (quick as it didn’t last long) and now the wildflowers are more evident. I’ve not noticed any bees flying around, although I saw a solitary bee looking for a place to call home. I have a little bee motel I’m trying to find a good spot for (the ideal spot is outside the garage, but I don’t have a good place to mount it.
I’ll eventually place it somewhere (sooner rather than later).
Thanks Emilio. Happy bee hosting to you, hope you find the perfect spot (and get some good photos too!)
I’ve only just discovered the three cornered leek this year, though haven’t harvested any yet.
Sorry to hear about your bees, I lost some over winter as well 😢
Sorry to hear you had losses too Sara. Hope you enjoy the three cornered leek if you try some!