Today was mild-ish and weakly sunny and the sweet smelling winter honeysuckle by the kitchen window is in bloom. It seems too early… and it seems way too early (or too late) for little worker bumblebees to be collecting pollen.
But there they were. But the winter honeysuckle is a real star of a bee plant and if I cut it back it will flower again. The bees are very small so I am not sure if they are terrestris or lucorum workers. Just a hint of yellow after the last black stripe makes me think perhaps terrestris… but so tiny!!
and here they are together…
I hope these little bees are close by and have a well protected nest and that winter is kind to them.
Beekeepers Ancient and Modern
Also, to accompany these, a few sketches of beekeepers, ancient and modern. I am considering adding some figures to my current bee charm project and have been working out what I might include. Some are based on old manuscript drawings and some are modern beekeepers and of course there is a bear, which I changed a bit ..
The figures are all engaged in varying bee keeping activities from evasive action, banging pots to quell a swarm, catching a swarm, general hive work and cutting the comb. The most sinister are Pieter Bruegel’s three faceless hooded figures with their circular wicker face masks ( Pic 4) Wonderful…
Where there is honey, there is bound to be a bear.