Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Bees on snowdrops
I look forward to this day all winter - the first time the bees come out for the snowdrops. Today was mild(ish) at 7℃ with sunshine and a gentle breeze and the bees were out in force. I have thousands of snowdrops less than 30m from the hives so I am sure the bees could smell them as well as I could.
The bees spend a lot of time grooming, often hanging by one front foot.
This one has hole in one front wing - it must be a very worn winter bee, having emerged last autumn.
This one was trying to get into a flower that was already occupied, even though there were thousands to choose from.
This one shows her proboscis in the folded position
and extended for taking nectar.
Here she is wiping her proboscis with her from legs, either to get the pollen off the proboscis or to mix nectar with the pollen to make it more sticky for packing in the corbiculae (or both).
Here is another doing the same.
I think the bees were making the most of it today as they had heard the forecast of cold weather for the next fortnight. It may be some time before I see them again. I think the hibernating bumblebees have also heard the forecast and are sitting tight.