"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Easton Bees, my first 2012 bee photos

My first 2012 bee photos! Hurrah.  After a great drawing workshop at Stamford Arts centre with my lovely students I went up to Easton Walled Gardens to catch their Snowdrop event.  I am so very fond of this beautiful tranquil place and the gleaming snowdrops were everywhere,  and so many  different varieties, some tall and stately and other low growing and shallow cupped.  Their beauty for me lies in their delicate little nodding heads and  that pure whiteness set against the dark background of winter trees. I may get down to a sketch or two next week. In the class today we were looking at working with pen and ink and this would be a perfect subject.

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And then I saw just two big fat glossy Buff Tailed Bumble bee queens, Bombus terrestis, both on the crocus flowers. Here’s a short sequence of one bee as she moves from one flower to another, almost disappearing before backing out again. 

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Crocus are a very important early food source for all early bees and so are snowdrops.. but in all those acres of snowdrops I saw only one bee, yet two bees on the relatively few crocus.
I am wondering if, when a choice is available, they prefer a crocus?

It seems particularly appropriate and auspicious that I should photograph my first bees at Easton where, in June, I will be showing my hopefully expanded “Buzz” show, as part of their Meadow Days Celebrations,  and this time with a two day workshop. It is a week I am looking forward to immensely.

3 comments:

Emily said...

Oh Val, what beautiful photos! I think the crocuses are particularly good early pollen sources, honey bees love them too.

Yesterday I was at a beekeeping conference and the speaker mentioned that Bombus terrestis is the species most used to pollinate tomatoes & bell peppers etc in poly tunnels in this country. Apparently they're imported in from Europe, which could cause a disease risk to our native buff tails if they're allowed to escape.

Jane said...

Yay! You have bees! The same happens in my garden.. the bumbles always go for the crocus rather than the snowdrops. I think it's because it's much easier for them to land on them and pollen is more accessible. The lighter-weight honeybees seem to quite like the snowdrops (but even they seem to plump for the crocus given a choice). Interesting!

moonsword said...

Beautiful photos...thanks for sharing them!
I suppose it's like finding the best ice cream shop on the block...if you see someone enjoying their treats, you're likely to follow them in. :)