Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘bumble bee’

Bumble Bees & other musings from Prospect Cottage.

In Bees, Gardening, Herbs on May 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

There seems to be lots of Bumble Bees about this year. Great to see them as worldwide they are in decline mostly because of disturbance to habitats. There are about 250 species living mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are common in New Zealand and Tasmania. They are ground nesting often in tunnels abandoned by other creatures. Living in small colonies of no more than 50 they produce only enough honey to feed their young. Unlike their cousins the Honey Bees they do not die if they use their sting. However, it is rare for them to sting, usually only if they feel threatened. Bumble Bees are important pollinators of crops and wildflowers.

These Alliums are doing really well considering they were planted late, end of January, bargain bulbs in sale. They are holding up well to all the recent rain. I love purple flowers. Actually I really like the colour purple in clothing too.

Silverweed is plentiful on the lane at the moment, it thrives in the moist soil we have. A member of the Potentilla family, in the past the root was cooked and eaten as a vegetable or ground to use in bread and porridge. Geese are said to be partial to the leaves. The plant was also used medicinally. An infusion is said to be useful for gargles to relieve painful gums and toothache.

Tormentil, also a member of the Potentilla family, is in flower at the moment. It has similar properties to Silverweed being of the same family. The Lapps use the juice from the root to stain leather.