As Busy as a Bee

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One of the sounds I always associate with summer is the soft gentle buzzing of bees, as they gather pollen from flowers. Sadly it is a sound heard less often now. I have a teeny garden here in London, but I have planted some lavender.

As I walk past the bush by the front door I see five or six bees busy moving from flower to flower gathering pollen, it is a wonderful sight and so reassuring.

Bees on Lavender

The honey bee has to be my firm favourite.  I adore honey and frequently use it in cooking.  It works really well with bananas. I used my recipe for spicy banana bread to make this beehive cake, you can find more details on my blog here.

Beehive Cake

Honey is also a fabulous medicine, nothing beats lemon and honey when you feel under the weather, particularly if you have a sore throat.  And of course you could always add a drop of whisky to make a toddy.

Honey with a little lemon

Honey is one of the few really local produce I am able to buy in London.  At the local delicatessen "Ham Pantry" I can purchase Richmond Park Honey, made by honey  bees who collect pollen in the park.  In Brittany I can of course buy a far wider range of local produce, both from land and sea,  I like to buy my honey from the Miellerie (honey producer) in the next village, choosing the Miel de Bord de Mer, the bees who make this honey gather pollen from within 300 metres of the sea.  I love the possibility that in both Richmond and Brittany,  one or two bees may have got  slightly lost and gathered pollen from my lavender to take back to their hives.

Miel de Bord de Mer

If you live in  a city I do  suggest that you try and source some local honey, it will enhance your eating and your local environment.  It is amazing to discover,  with a just a little research, how many bee keepers there are.  Many allotments now have a resident hives, as do grand department stores and blocks of flats.

Emma wrote wonderfully in her recent post about wild flower meadows, I found it inspiring to read and would love to have the space to cultivate my own meadow, but if like me you have very little room, then please try to plant at least one or two bee attracting plants, Lavender would be my first choice, it's wonderful aroma perfectly enhances a  warm summer's evening, it's a great pot plant if space is truly limited. So both you and the environment will benefit from it.

Do you like honey?  Maybe you grow lavender that attracts lots of insects, or you could recommend other plants which encourage bees, do let us know...

Thanks for reading,