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Today's forage...
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 16 10:14 am    Post subject: Today's forage...  Reply with quote    

... 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
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Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Devon
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 16 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We made some very nice gorse mead one year.

sean
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Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 16 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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 Boy Wonder said it was the worst afternoon of his entire life (up to that point, I assume it's been superseded by now).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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8905

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 16 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 16 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8905

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 16 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 16 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8905

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 16 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 33021
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 16 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 17 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8905

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 17 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 17 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 26 Jan 2008
Posts: 3197
Location: Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 17 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8905

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 17 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 17 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

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.

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