school garden

school garden

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Running for cover

This afternoon after a busy session working in the garden with Pete, Moira and Jamie I decided to hang on a little and photograph the plants in the greenhouse as they had grown considerably since the last post. First of all some pictures from the greenhouse.

The papyrus has now reached the roof of the greenhouse and looks great with the large umbrella flowering heads. The plants need a lot of water each day to keep them in good condition.

One of the larger gourds. There are lots now growing on the six plants that we have growing.

The tendrils which the plant sends out to find support are amazing things. They always provoke interest. The growing tip of the plant rocks and rolls to keep in touch with the growing surroundings. The tendrils are then shot out to explore these surroundings and wrap on to whatever they can find. They slowly wind up on themselves and tighten the plant to those surroundings. Sometimes a cane and sometimes another part of the plant.

Detail of the growing gourd and the tendrils doing what they are supposed to do.

On leaving the greenhouse I became aware of a deafening buzzing in the sky above. The space over the school garden was covered with buzzing bees. There were thousands of them. I decided to take shelter in the door way of the building and see what happened.

The spots which look like rain against the trees behind the classrooom are actually thousands of bees. (click to enlarge the picture to see all the bees)
The bees then slowly settled onto the willow classroom

You can see the black mass of bees as they settled into the willow

Close up -well as close as I dare go - of the mass of bees. The noise was deafening (click on the picture to see the mass of bees)

The bees were still there at 8pm this evening. Hopefully they will move on tomorrow. Watch this space!


Helen by the Sea in Weymouth, Dorset said...

Wow, truly amazing. Thank goodness there weren't dozens of young children up there as there may not have been enough room in the shed. So lucky you had the camera with you.

klinsmann said...

Crikey, that's fantastic.
Have you any idea why they are there like that?

Steve said...

They were almost certainly following a queen bee who settled eventually on the willow. Ths is usual behaviour and dispersal. In all my years though I have never witnessed anything like this. The nearest I ever got to bees was in Trinidad when chased by a small swarm while preoccupied watching a rare bird.