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Treacodactyl

Today's forage...

... is gorse. It's fairly warm in the sun and there's quite a few of our bees out foraging on the gorse this morning, several with large amounts of burnt sienna coloured pollen.
Jamanda

We made some very nice gorse mead one year.
sean

Took hours to pick enough flowers for a gallon mind. Boy Wonder said it was the worst afternoon of his entire life (up to that point, I assume it's been superseded by now).
Mistress Rose

There is some variety of gorse in flower all year, but the spring/summer flowering one is the more common and prolific I think. I think our bees are probably dozing a bit, or might be finding a bit of ivy still.
Treacodactyl

Bees out in force on the gorse today, despite a frosty start. Plenty of pollen going in and rather a large number taking in water as well. I thought they would be a lot quieter over winter.
Mistress Rose

They could be starting to build up for the summer as the winter has been so mild so far. Bringing in pollen usually shows they are starting the breeding season again.
dpack

thanks folks, the gorse info has convinced me that it would be ideal for the spikey part of the hedge as i'm after giving the local wild bees all the help i can at the new orchard site.

i spose that with a bit of planning i can provide them with all year forage ( bee friendly weather permitting ) if they might require it so as they are available for duty in fruit flower season.
Mistress Rose

A good idea Dpack, but I would try to get the winter flowering type. You could also think about offering a site in a remote corner for a beekeeper to keep a hive or two.
dpack

i think a beek hive might be a step too far as the plan is for an outdoor classroom/ food science resource for a primary school as well as a community orchard.

there is a new site option im looking into which would be perfect for a couple of hives as it is tucked away between 4 "owned" sites and has no "public" access.

the old hospital orchard on the fulford retail park has bees but that is also a low footfall site as although it has public access it is only visited by folk who know it is there and they are , mostly, fairly sensible.

on the CRP site i recon that plenty of suitable habitat provision and year round forage plants should give enough pollination cover as well as making a good wild bee refuge without being too intimidating or potentially dangeroos.
Treacodactyl

Another sunny and still day after frost and there's a very large amount of bees out today, almost like summer.

Today there's only a few on the gorse and most of the pollen going in seems to be a pale yellow. Possibly hazel pollen although most of the nearby hazel catkins are still tightly shut, a few are open so somewhere they could be a large patch.
Mistress Rose

Hazel is quite variable in when the catkins drop. Think it is so that the female flowers stand a good chance of being pollinated by another plant, or something.
Treacodactyl

Today they've found the snowdrops. There's quite a few single flower (i.e. non-double) snowdrops about the place and we saw several bees with small orange pollen sacs.

Not a vast number out at the moment, although it's fine today it's still a bit cold and windy.
yummersetter

As I went towards the trans-orchard bridge recently, I could hear the hum of dozens of bees on the winter-flowering honeysuckle from 20 yards away. I planted it a year ago on the bank of the stream and it's a very useful shrub in winter, quiet and unassuming for the rest of the year.
Mistress Rose

Our bees were flying yesterday. They are probably bringing in hazel as the catkins have dropped. About the only thing out at the moment.
Treacodactyl

Now we've got some calm after some recent rough weather there's bees everywhere. On all the gorse all over our place, on all the snowdrops and there's a steady stream flowing back from the woodland. Looks more like late spring than late winter, time to get some supers ready. Laughing
Mistress Rose

Sounds good.
Treacodactyl

Bees on rosemary and a rogue flowering hogweed plant today, along with the usual gorse. There's quite a few dandelions about but no bees on them yet. First flowers on the blackthorn but again, no bees on them.
sean

Found a huge queen wasp in the bedroom this afternoon. Bad choice of attempted nesting site.
Mistress Rose

I haven't seen any dandelions about here yet, although there are a fair few daisies. No doubt we will have to redirect any queen bumble bees and hornets up in the woods soon to prevent them nesting in the wrong places, like in our store and work shelters.
Treacodactyl

Bees still often on the gorse and over the last couple of weeks we've seen them on blackthorn and dandelions, but not that often. Goat willow is out but too high to see what is on it, we also have large bay tree flowering and I think I saw a couple of honey bees on it. Sometimes it's hard to see what type of bee is on things as we have such a wide range of bumble, solitary etc bees about the place.
Treacodactyl

They're on the honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) and bluebells now.
Treacodactyl

A good number of bees are on a large ornamental cherry tree we inherited.
Slim

My brother keeps a hive in my backyard. Noticed they were coming home with blue pollen yesterday, which was pretty fun.

I'm guessing scilla?
dpack

m n m's? Laughing
Treacodactyl

Yesterday they found the clematis motana, probably 'alba', and the crab apples.
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