Bees in my bonnet

That should be the title of this miscellany of blog entries!

But as the chutney and bottled and frozen fruit from last year runs out, I look kindly on the buzzing visitors in hopes of plenty more plums and redcurrants. I’m delighted that friends are doing a beekeepers’ course and have their eye on the nature reserve that has grown up around where we work.Wiesensalbei_(Salvia_pratensis)_02

Maybe if we have hives we’ll find out what weather to expect… read this I’ve been asking everybody when the Eisheiligen (Ice Saints) will be over and they are not yet… the Saints’ Days are, but because of Pope Gregory XIII’s calendar reform in 1482 (eventually adopted as civil calendar by most of the world) the weather associated with “cold Sophie” will be 10 days later than May 15th.

This weekend was certainly one for wrapping up warmly and the English proverb “Ne’er cast a clout till May is out” applied. In the UK I used to hear the debate as whether “May” or “may” (the hawthorn) was meant. The month, I’ve decided! But nonetheless we had an outing. Water birds for Rainer, flowers for me. Just listen to these beautiful English names: Meadow Clary, Sainfoin, Salad Burnet, Ragged Robin. As I would have very little chance of seeing Meadow Clary (Wiesen-Salbei) in the UK, here is a commons picture and it shows the Oxeye Daisy (Margerite), too, so omnipresent I forgot to list it with my delights of yesterday. And with a less romantic name, the Bladder Campion was also there. All of great importance to the bees I began with.                                        Apis_mellifera_flying

My German flower book says you can test with a sharp pencil the Meadow Clary’s clever lever action – it closes its stamens down onto the bee’s pollen sacs to make quite sure the pollination job gets done properly.

While I’ve been looking things up to make sure of the facts and names, I have found this… am not yet among the photographing public, but my few readers are, so have a go!

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