Feeding Bees

I’m not a bee-keeper, although it’s in the family – my paternal grandmother was and my father is.  Sometimes bees are fed sugar to speed up the honey production – obviously not making a great quality honey.  I undertook this practice, however, yesterday when I had to rescue a bee.  I spotted him/her in the bathroom on Sunday crawling around.  I was really busy so didn’t consider much what he/she was up to.  I came back on Monday and he/she was in the same spot looking a lot lazier.  The species looked something between a bumble bee and a honey bee – furrier than a honey bee but smaller and slimmer than a bumble bee.

I fished up the bee in an empty toilet roll holder and brought him/her outside to a herb bed, thinking he/she would gather some moisture and find the energy to fly away.  I looked at it for a while wondering what would happen next and then realised this poor creature hadn’t eaten or drank in at least 24 hours.  How amazing for something so small.  I tottered into the kitchen and made a very small amount of concentrated sugar syrup with sugar and water.  I allowed it to drip down the side of the large pot and it pooled a little at the bottom where my poor bee was resting.  The minute he/she detected something, his/her tongue shot out. The length of it shocked me – longer than it’s antennae or legs even.  He/she lapped up the fuel and within 5 minutes was flying through the air.

The long dark red/brown tongue

So apart from part-time, small-time bee-keeping I’ve been a very busy bee myself.  So much that I haven’t been blogging at all even though I wanted to dedicate a post to a lamb dish for the Roscommon Lamb Festival (www.roscommonlambfestival.com). Instead I’m going to post a picture today from My Junior Chefs who were in my kitchen and garden last week for the Easter Baking Camp. They baked gorgeous cakes on the last day and one of them has lambs on top.
The lamb festival was a great success, happening from Wednesday 27th April to Monday 2nd May.  Mental weekend but I’ll look forward to being involved again next year.

If you’re ever wondering what kind of cake to cook for children – chocolate seems to be a good choice.  They could pick any cake they liked in groups and chocolate came up trumps.

That’s a little of what I’ve been up to but looking forward to next recipe post – think I’ll still go for a lamb dish.

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