Bee watch

It begins.

I’ve been on bee watch for a few days now, since I saw the first photos of hairy-footed flower bees appearing in the BWARS group on Facebook. The immediate response from one of the administrators – “And we’re off!” – made me feel just a little emotional – but it does seem to have been an especially long winter.

This morning R and I planted the red berberis which completes our current round of garden improvement, and then I took a mug of tea and both my cameras down to the wild garden, and contentedly watched the wild world go by for half an hour or so. I bagged a few shots while I was there, and would happily have posted either a singing robin, or the first celandine flower of the season; but then a honey bee flew past me, pausing to sniff my drink as she went, and I decided that what I really wanted for today was an invertebrate image. A rapid search of the best feeding sites failed to net me either a solitary bee or a hoverfly, but the fact that the Viburnum tinus was suddenly busy with honey bees was consolation enough: spring is beginning.

On a much less happy note, this evening R and I learned the distressing news that one of our neighbours has died of Covid-19. We didn’t know him especially well, but were friendly acquaintances, and we’re saddened and shocked by his death. Although we’ve spent a year treating everyone we see as though they might be carrying the infection, I never actually imagined the pandemic touching our small rural village directly – and yet here we are. Please everyone: stay safe.