May 2019 – Bees


Summer has been a little indecisive about whether it should come or not. The plants are all changing beautifully, leaves are out on the trees, the magnolia at the front had a magnificent display of flowers and has now contented itself with some lovely lime green leaves which will no doubt darken up when summer does appear. We had absolutely fantastic weather over Easter, sunshine and temperatures in the 20’s. A number of people from Shirwell came and had Hot Cross Buns and tea on the lawn. Some of the those who were visiting joined in and those who missed the buns were served Hot Cross buns the next morning at breakfast. However temperatures halved soon after Easter and we have even had a couple of frosts. The chestnut trees in Youlston Park all have one side ‘burnt’ from the frost with leaves and flowers remaining on their more southerly sides.

But even though it is still cool we have some new residents in the garden of the Spinney. The first hive of bees has arrived. Terry, the apiarist of ‘Retirement Honey’ fame is feeding them carefully for a few days until they orientate themselves and begin to collect their own food. The woods have put on a stunning display of flowers for them. The rhododendrons are out, there are still a  number of bluebells and there is a beautiful pink carpet of wild flowers which should feed them well. The flower is very common in the hedgerows and on the sides of the roads. There won’t be much honey this year as the hive gets used to life at the Spinney but if you are lucky you may find some later in the season. Those visiting in July and August may well get Spinney honey served with their stack of pancakes in the morning and there should be a few jars left over for sale.

Bodge, the resident wood louse hunter is always a good weather gauge. He did manage a couple of hours outside on the days it was warm. He has been given a cat flap now, of suitable dimensions for his curvaceous figure, and will go outside most days – the time spent is inversely proportional to the temperature. Maybe he will regain ribs when it warms up a bit.