Follow our progress running the nursery, watching wild bees, keeping honey bees and creating our own bee-haven in south Oxfordshire

Snowdrops - some of the first flowers for bees

Snow drops, and other early flowering bulbs such as winter aconites and then crocuses are some of the first flowers of the year. February is a very tricky time of year for bees; the cold and wet will have kept them in the hive all winter  and now their stores of honey (or sugar and fondand provided by the beekeepers). Now, they will start to emerge whenever the temperature rises above about 7 degrees to search for new food sources. The queen may already be laying and they will need food to support both the brood and their own more active brood-rearing roles.

To start healthy growth of brood numbers they will need the protein that comes from pollen.  These small flowers may take a time to bulk up and provide a plentiful feast for the bees but at this time of year small quantities of pollen are just enough to give them a bit of a boost until the rest of the spring flowers bloom.