Sunday the 1st March 2015 was sunning and bright here in Mayo this morning.
I am just over quite a bad flu that left me quite weak and lazy for many days but I felt up to a little gardening this morning, readying vegetable beds and checking fruit bushes.
In a sheltered area of the garden my willow trees are budding well but the temperature is not favourable for bees just yet. The willow tree catkins are a wonderful early source of nectar and pollen for bees although only the male flowers produce pollen, both sexes produce nectar. Nectar is the main source of carbohydrate for the energy needs of the bee colony and pollen is primarily for protein and nutrients, also both nectar and pollen mixed with water from the bees mouth helps to add a certain amount of structural integrity to the comb itself.
Pollination by insects is hugely important for many plants. It has been calculated that bees alone account for one in every three mouthfuls of food we consume every day. After land-use changes, climate change is the most relevant factor responsible for the decline of pollinators. Successful pollination depends on insects being active at the same time the plants are flowering. It is one of the most important connections that humans have with nature.
As the day moved on, blue sky and sunshine gave way to clouds, rain and rainbows.
The birds left off their courtship songs and returned to the feeders as sleet began to fall.
And the sleet turned to hailstones and snow. Bonnie loves snow but she is not too keen on hailstones.
“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade.” Charles Dickens.