A bee is a dandelion in her own cause

Dandelions in our yard on March 31, 2018. ©Erik Brown

March was colder than February here in Virginia. Our favorite weatherman said tonight that this is only the second year this has happened. The first time was last year, when we had a very warm February and a cold March. This year we had a cool February and a cooler March.

Needless to say, the flowers are off to a slow start this year, with the bees alternating between huddling for warmth and flying for joy. It seems a short post to welcome some spring and flowers into our world is in order.

I have started updating my Bloom where you are planted log with the first-flower-dates as they appear. Everything seems to be delayed by a few weeks over last year. The Crocus appeared in mid-February, which is pretty typical, followed by our Norway Maple. Unfortunately, it was pretty cold so I doubt the maples received much pollination.

The forsythia in full bloom on March 31, 2018. ©Erik Brown

The forsythia bloomed almost three weeks later than last year, though still two weeks earlier than in 2015. It is interesting to compare how the blooms change from year to year. At the start of April in 2016 and 2017, for example, the fruit trees were in full bloom and the tulips were just flowering. This year the fruit trees are not quite blooming and the tulips are probably two or more weeks away. The specific dates are in the Bloom page I mentioned.

I noticed the dandelions this past weekend, which some consider the start of the beekeeping season. With all the flowers blooming I am trying to watch for native bees, as I hope to take a few pictures. I have seen a few but not enough to identify other than a single bumblebee this weekend. This early in the year I assume the bumble was a queen, although I am not certain.

My first bumble bee of 2018. I believe this is a Two-spotted bumble bee (Bombus bimaculatus) on a Red dead-nettle flower. ©Erik Brown

A man is a lion in his own cause

People tend to fight harder for something they have a personal interest in, or so this saying goes. I found this in my Facts on File book, which says the quote is an old Scottish saying that first appeared in David Fergusson’s collection Scottish Proverbs in 1641.

Since the dandelions had just bloomed, I was looking for “dandy” quotes. There is not a lot of choices here other than “fine and dandy” so I switched over to lion quotes. Among “in like a lion” and other quotes was this little gem. We visited Scotland last year, so it somehow seems appropriate to title a post based on an old Scottish proverb.

May you prosper and find honey.

2 thoughts on “A bee is a dandelion in her own cause

  1. Your bloom dates correspond with ours in that we are a few weeks (or more) behind last year. And March here was cooler and had starts and stops upsetting things. April is here and things smooth out and already the bees are capitalizing on the warmer, more consistent weather and warmer night time temperatures. Here the fading of the bloom on Dogwood consistently brings in the beginning of the nectar flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We much admire your flowering-date page. We have never been able to keep such a thing going for very long without missing data and finally abandoning the task.

    This year in the Michigan season of “third winter” our crocus have come and gone. The big red-blossomed maple is just now considering blooming. And the only forsythia flowers we have seen are on the branches currently being forced indoors.

    Liked by 1 person

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