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28 Aug 2012
After a dry spring and cold and wet summer apple yields are very low. Bees remain holed up at home to avoid the bad weather, shirking their usual role pollinating fruit trees.
When the weather is good there is only a small window of pollination opportunity. It needs to be warm enough for bees to be active along with the right conditions for good pollen growth. The bees work is made harder because earlier droughts in spring made blossom weak, then high winds knocked the blossom off trees.
With reduced apple yields supermarkets are starting to sell blemished fruits. Apples are bashed around in the wind and the rain causes nicks in the skin but these fruits are just as tasty!
There is hope for the bees. The colonies should survive the bad weather and see it through to another summer. Social bees such as honey and bumble bees hunker down and huddle together to keep each other warm.
We should enjoy apples all the more this autumn and think of the hard work bees have gone through to get produce to the shops. lets all hope for a better summer next year.
Image Rowan Adams