I woke to sunshine but it was past mid-day before I was able to enjoy a short walk outside. The temperature had reached that critical 10 degree level and I hoped to see some bees but decided to take in the garden and see what forage it could be providing for a brave bee. Harry the cat insisted on joining me on my expedition and what a show off he proved to be. Everytime I paused near a tree to peer at snowdrops or a crocus he decided to show just what a great tree climber he was. The sun was putting out dazzling rays of warmth as if to convince me of its great power.
As I took the circuitous route to the apiary I saw fat buds of a tree peony, healthy new hydrangea leaves, surprisingly advanced rhubarb and even an allium almost a foot tall. In February! Another show off methinks.
Turning the corner and entering the green tunnel that leads to the apiary, it seemed incongruous to see reminders of winter in the form of holly still with berries. No sign of life on the weeping willow but the Mahonia flowers show proudly against the lush green foliage.
Now we reach the hives. Wow. The first hive has a healthy show of bees mainly close to the entrance doing the spring cleaning from their winter confinement. I glance to hive 2 a little more in the sun there is a great cloud of activity.
As I head back to the north side of the house I espy some shy aconites with their pretty green ruffs around their heads making them look like innocent choir boys. I search for more then see another show off. A solitary honey bee seems to skip from aconite to crocus keen to boast her flying expertise and make herself the centre of my camera lens.