The cherry plum in our orchard has recently started flowering and in this week’s early spring sunshine, it has been alive with bees. Most of them were bumble bees, which always fly early in the year in much cooler temperatures but some of the honeybees (kept by one of our kitchen staff, Janusz) were also busy.
A lot of Prunus species flower very early, welcoming in the spring. These trees are the gamblers of the plant world, dicing with the frost. It is one of the few trees flowering this early, and so in good weather as we have been enjoying this week, has all the hungry pollinating insects for itself. This will ensure a good crop of fruit this autumn and seeds for a new generation, but if we see more frost and cold weather, the plant loses everything. Thankfully, spring is looking promising thus far which is good as I have just finished my last jar of cherry plum jam from last year.
Words by Tom, photographs by Martin