Today I planted a Hellebore into our north facing flower bed, hoping it will settle in well and feed many generations of early spring pollinators. It is late February and the garden is awash with snowdrops and winter aconite, but apart from those, and until the crocus emerge, it is rather bare. Hellebore is certainly not an ingredient (do not ingest this plant!) we will use in our soaps, but it is a beautiful sight in the garden and help energise any stray bees or bumblebees who have left their winter hideout too early.
We ‘rescued’ our first bumblebee a fortnight ago. It lay weakened on a path in the park – I had no sugar water or honey on me, but I did have a glucose energy tablet and a bottle of water. As an emergency solution only, moving the bumblebee out of harm’s way, I poured some still water onto the tablet and placed it on a leaf to within the reach of the bee, ensuring that it was feeding. After ten minutes, sufficiently rejuvenated, it flew away, I hope back to its winter nest 🙂