There’s a month gone by in the shaking of lamb’s tails. Daffs are going over, primroses coming out. Things have been mostly of an outdoors nature here at Spider Acres for the last few weeks, getting the allotment ready for planting and of course, doing that planting. Every year I forget what labour it is to get the potatoes in, but they are now, mostly, as are the onions, shallots, peas and broad beans, beetroot, parsnips and carrots.
When not allotmenteering I have been gardening, making the most of the glorious weather we have had for a couple of weeks. It has been a pleasure to share both places with the newly emerged bees-bumbles and solitaries, all busy looking for nesting sites and pollinating the abundance of blossom as they refuel for that main purpose. One of the rarer cuckoo bees has turned up in the garden. This is Melecta albifons-no common name but handsomely spotted. It is feeding on Lungwort, Pulmonaria saccharata, as does the lovely Hairy Footed Flower bee that it parasitises. They have been here too.
The allotment site, with its large areas of flowering dead nettle, is proving to be a rich hunting ground for bees like the beautiful Andrena flavipes below, and a little colony of something tiny , not as yet identified , is nesting under my white currant. I wonder if this constitutes keeping livestock, which is strictly prohibited on our allotments?