I saw my first bee of the year today. Although I was too slow to catch her in action, I find it fitting that I should see the bees out and about the day after the European Commission passed a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. I think the ladies might have been doing a little celebratory dance! Though it is only a partial ban, it binds all European Union members, including the UK (which opposes the ban), to halt the use of these pesticides by the end of the year. So bees and other pollinators stand a better chance of surviving modern agriculture.
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous of late in London. Chilly, but beautiful nonetheless. As I've been enjoying some time off from work, I've had the luxury of sitting on my balcony to admire the little critters that visit my garden: ladybugs, hover flies and aphids have been puttering about, but no bees. My balcony is so perfectly situated that when the sun is out, it is usually 10°C warmer than the street below. So there are plenty of flowers for hungry bees, but they were a no-show. Until today.
With the bees about, I may just be lucky enough to have a few berries by the end of the month! However, what I am truly looking forward to are asparagus! They've been delayed by the cold beginning to Spring, and though restaurants have been able to grab a few bunches of local spears, the supermarkets have only been stocking imports. I'm crossing my fingers! Other things to look forward to in May are radishes; baby lettuce; field rhubarb; globe artichokes (imported, but from very close by!); morels (if the weather warms up, and... it rains!); and did I mention asparagus?