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Leave the Roundup on the shelf

Another warm and pleasant day. We keep on repeating that the weather can turn nasty even until end of April but so far the mild winter has been a relief. Bees are out. A lot of bees are out. Of the four hives in the backyard I’ll soon have to decide where to put them for the year but right now it’s good to see them flying. IMG-20120318-00086.jpg
There’s a few sources of food around the place but I am supplementing their dinner plates with a bit of pollen pattie and some sugary fondant. We have a honeysuckle out front with new flowers budding; it’s covered with bees as they hoover the pollen off it. That shrub is going to go wild this year as it’s now well and truly pollinated. Also got a few primroses – here seen with an obliging bee doing it’s thing. IMG-20120318-00083.jpg
Another curious source of food seems to be this wheelbarrow. Just around Christmas I started to dig out a culvert next to the driveway in order to build an organized set of steps to replace the somewhat flimsy stone steps we’ve had for years. They looked OK but weren’t that easy to walk on. I got as far as the weather would let me and in doing so had a small collection of plants I wanted to put back when I’d completed the work. Some of those plants are in this barrow along with a bunch of old leaves and a chuck of 4×4 scrap. IMG-20120318-00092.jpg
There’s something about whatever is in those leaves. Minerals and moisture of some kind, I guess. Whatever it is, a particular clump of old rotting leaves is attracting a LOT of bee attention. Funny creatures. IMG-20120318-00088.jpg

Been discussing the supposed Einstein quote on the BEE-L list recently. Apparently the quote – which reflects on the demise of man 4 years after the last honey bee dies – is a fabrication. Einstein had no interest in honey bees and there was – is – no basis in fact for the statement. However, that doesn’t reduce the vital part that the honey bee plays as a pollinator in the food agricultural system. Pollination is critical, whether it’s via a natural pollinator, performed by hand, or by agrochemical methods. So despite not having Einstein at your back, don’t forget the honey bees’ contribution as you start your spring weekend warrior tasks. Forget the Roundup and weed killers. Leave the dandelions until they’ve flowered then whack them down. Honey bees love all the wild things we call weeds. IMG-20120318-00089.jpg

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