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January Flowers and February Bee Clearance Flights

What's in Val's Garden in January?


Viburnum




Taking a quick walk around in an interlude when the sun broke through, there were quite a few plants in flower.










The viburnum, the Japanese honeysuckle, the green hellebore, rosemary in the polytunnel, and the snowdrops are starting to show flowers coming up among the shoots.



Japanese honeysuckle

Green Hellebore


A Winter Garden Landscape of Hope for Bees!











All these new shoots and buds show promising signs of a return to normal life for the honey bees who have been nestling deep within their hives all winter, keeping themselves warm in their clusters of huddles.








Now is a good time to look around to see what might be coming along to keep the bees busy foraging this year, and possibly add a few more plants to the garden for them.


Rosemary (in the polytunnel)




Val has been busy taking cuttings and we are looking forward to following progress as new varieties grow in her garden over the year - we may even get to see some time-lapse videos of their development on Youtube!









Good News for the Bees!


Snowdrops



With winter sunshine helping the new buds grow into early spring flowers, these occasional warmer days towards the end of winter offer the honey bees some long-awaited relief, for as soon as they are warm enough to be able to flap their tiny wings, they will venture on out from their hives.







Look out for a honey bee flying about on a warm(ish) day in February - it's likely that she is on her clearance flight! It might be difficult to find the small yellow deposits as evidence but you never know - there may be some tiny yellow marks in snow, if it hasn't melted, or perhaps you might notice some on the white snowdrops or even on white washing or clothes you have been wearing - or, if you're a beekeeper, if you've been out checking on your hives...check your hat!


Bees are clean creatures - not only do they wait all those cold days until they can leave the hive to relieve themselves, but they also take the first opportunity of a few warm rays to clear out debris that has been accumulating in the hive over winter, such as dead spiders and even bees!


Join our conversation here or over on our social media channels - Instagram, Facebook and Twitter - let us know if you spot any bees on their clearance flights, or indeed any proof!






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