Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Wee Swarm and Spring Blooms . .

I collected this small swarm from a friend`s place last Sunday, in the rain - poor wee bees were wrapped up tightly under the ferny branches of a weeping maple. It being only acouple of handfuls of bees I am wondering if it has a queen, it may have been a secondary swarm. They have busily started making comb from the top of the nuc box, I am giving them to a friend who has a new TopBar hive all waiting and ready. I have noticed over the last few years that swarms really get stuck into collecting pollen and nectar and making wax very quickly, they build up to a decent size hive in a short while - must be that urge to bring in food for the young and build a proper home !

I drove home, rain pouring down and thankful the bees were safe and dry - it is always an interesting trip with a box of bees on the back seat, not going to fast to have them fall off and break out, and not so slow you draw attention to yourself ! At least I didn`t have my bee suit on, that always gets some weird stares - I just wave . .

I don`t know if it is just me or not, but is this spring an especially beautiful one ?? I seem to be so much more aware of the new growth all around me. . Above is the bud of our native clematis, C.paniculata , it is deciduous and when in flower covers a fence or the top of trees with a brilliant white mass of flowers - in it`s native place, our NZ bush, it always heralds spring - I love it.

Above the flowers and new seeds on a Red Maple Acer rubra shine in the morning sun. Maple have small flowers often hard to find, when seen really close up they are intricate and beautiful. It is always the first maple to flower and leaf up around here. Acers are not native to NZ, we have very few deciduous native trees, NZ is a temperate country and doesn`t get cold enough in most places for plants to go into dormancy over winter.

New leaves on a not very tall Rhododendron - the leaves actually seem far to large for the tree. Once the leaves are older they droop down and make a distinctive skirt. The pale purple flowers are not much to write home about, but the leaves make up for that ! I must try and find out what its botanical name is as it could be grown in a city section.

3 comments:

Ivo Serentha and Friends said...

Compliments for your blog and pictures included, I invite you to see the photo blog,
CLICK PHOTOSPHERA

Each week released a new album

Greetings from Italy

Marlow

Marilyn said...

Wonderful post Marcia. I was picturing you driving like you are out on a sedate Sunday drive with your bee suit on! So good to know that the bees have been rescued and now have a proper home. I have a couple of our native clematis (I posted some photos on my blog a few days ago) but they aren't doing at all well. I think they are the wrong plant for the spot but I noticed today that they have some sort of insect on the back of the leaves.

juliet said...

I didn't know a swarm could be so small and wonder how you found them? You must have developed a sharp eye. I enjoyed the story of you driving them home, and can imagine how protective you felt. Beautiful plant photos too; I love the clematis bud.