The bees are back- if they ever went away. As this video vividly shows, the flowers on my echiums are smothered in bees. And as there are several dozen echiums in the garden and each flower spires is between 4 and 6 feet long, this amounts to an awful lot of bees. Honey bees prefer blue flowers, so the lavenders and salvias are also getting their fair share. After the blue flowers in popularity come the white, of which my cabbage palms and sea kale are doing well in attracting bees.
In spite of the plethora of honey bees, I don’t keep a working hive at the moment. I’ve got a hive, but can’t spare the time to make my own honey, so I leave that to the experts. As a result I rely on my favourite shop, the Farm Shop at Sizergh for my honey supplies. I buy runny honey, supplied by Nook Farm in Cumbria, which is perfect with my porridge in the morning. But when I looked for the Nook Farm brand, the clear honey was out of stock, so I picked up the jar pictured below. It looked just the ticket, with its artisan jar, and farm shop price. Luckily, I checked the label, which disclosed that it isn’t local at all, not even British. The small print revealed that it was the “produce of EU or non-EU countries”. To my mind, that’s a bit of a con trick. If I was looking for rubbish like that I’d go to Tesco’s and pay half the price. Perhaps I should make my own honey after all.