Saturday, 12 February 2011
This is a small butterbur (Petasitses) about eight inches high, which grows in the lane on the way down to the allotments. There's a much bigger version in the woods, and I'm not sure which, if either, is 'proper' butterbur.
The snowdrops are in full bloom, and I'm busy planting a long row of autumn raspberries. These are the popular ones on the site; I don't know the variety, but lots of people have them. They're easier to manage than the summer raspberries; you just cut everything down in the autumn, and they fruit on the new canes the following year. Crocuses are out; I'm not a fan, and haven't planted anything except a few species crocus.
Hive 4 was busy today, bringing in masses of hazel pollen. I had a look at them; they're starting to raise brood - I find most strains stop in very cold weather - and have patches of eggs and young brood on two frames. Hive 6 has bees in a couple seams, and no brood that I could see. The sun had gone in, the light was bad, and I could easily have missed something. They're looking weak, so I hope they get going!