Flora And Fauna

Snowdrops
Snowdrops

Snowdrops.  These slender, precocious shoots are primed to burst. For the bees, along with crocuses and winter aconites, snowdrops are like pollen canapés ahead of the bee-banquet which Spring will soon serve up.

When the snowdrop flowers, it chastely bows its face to the ground. Each snowdrop has three white leaflets, surrounding a green-streaked bell. And, inside, the clapper bears a sprinkle of surprisingly orange pollen. Soon burly bumblebees will start to visit, then warmer days will bring honeybees: this will be their first forage of the year.

New bee-life has started to fill the brood-box in the hive, whetting the appetite for new sustenance. And pollen is protein, fresh and fragrant, signposted by the snowdrops’ markings, more blatant in the scope of a bee’s vision than in ours.

Early and insubstantial, the eggs and larvae of honeybees are pearl-white, just like the snowdrops which nourish them. Right now, these budding bees are planted in their wax cells, but in three weeks’ time, they will emerge, fully-formed, furry and fantastically equipped for flight.

Flora and fauna: sometimes indistinguishable, sometimes incongruous. Always compatible.

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