The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


17 May 2013

Bees in Trees - in Plague Proportions!

A sunny and much warmer day and jobs included lawn edging and planting out Pinks, Petunias and Aeoniums and moving other plants from the greenhouse and into the cold frames for hardening off.

Bees in the apple trees

Whilst lawn edging, I heard a loud droning - rather like machinery.  Wondering what it was, I looked up into the Prunus Serrula above and saw that the entire tree was alive with bees.  I have never seen or heard so many bees at one time.  The noise was astonishing.  They were definitely not swarming and all were busy going about their business. On many of them, I could see the pockets on their hind legs bulging with pollen.  This is a big mature tree and it was literally full of bees!  The funny thing is that this tree is grown for its shiny peeling bark which is a real feature in winter.  The flowers are small, pale and insignificant. It is covered in blossom all of which appeared to be moving with the vast numbers of bees moving around the blooms.  We hear nothing but doom and gloom about the ever decreasing numbers of bees, their decline due to Verroa and sudden hive collapse which made this all the more amazing!  It was like a plague of bees infesting a single tree.  It's not as if there weren't huge numbers in the apple trees 'cos there were - just nothing like the prunus!  Absolutely no shortage of pollinators here!

A whole tree of bees!

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