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Sunday 1 April 2012: Honey Bee Helping with Fruit Production

Today is very pretty if a little cool. After breakfast we went for a bike ride round the village, just over two hours at an average of 20.5 km/h. When we got back I changed at took the SLR out into the garden hoping to get something good to blip. Not as many bumblebees today as the last few, but I got a good shot of a honey bee on the willow catkins. The peacocks were resting in the veg patch so we left them alone - they look stunning if you get the light on them in the right way.

My gage plum tree (Prunus domestica subsp. italica var. claudiana) is just coming into bloom. I'm rather partial to gages, they make excellent jam, it's probably my favourite to make. Last year the gage wasn't so happy we didn't get much from it, but the year before it was very happy. I'm not 100% certain what variety it is, I suspect it's a Cambridge Gage but it could be a classic Green Gage.

My other half (who is French) introduced me to Reine Claudes jam when we were on holiday in France one year and I always wanted to make it ever since. When we moved into our current house we knew there was a small fruit tree in the garden, we were extremely pleased to discover it was a gage (of some sort).

Anyhow this blip is a honey bee (Apis mellifera) pollinating the flowers, so I hope to get plenty of fruit from the tree this year. Over Xmas last year I planted a Mirabelle plum (Prunus domestica subsp. syriaca) near by, and though it started to put buds out it's not in bloom yet. In future I hope they will be able to keep each other company. That way I can make even more yummy jam!

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