The Irish Honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera

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Irish honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera collecting pollen on crocus flowers in spring Irish honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera collecting pollen on crocus flowers in spring

The Irish honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera is Ireland's only native honeybee, it's a bee with a dark abdomen and is also known as the European dark bee.

Seen here in late February, just before the end of winter meteorologically-speaking or at the start of Irish spring, this honeybee has been extraordinarily busy collecting nectar and pollen on a bright afternoon just before stormy weather hits.

This week saw an amazing amount of precipitation, particularly over the southwest of Ireland, Munster, where Cork and Clonmel saw extensive flooding. This part of Ireland has already seen above average rainfall for February and recent days have only added to the totals.

I think this hard working bee could sense the miserable few days that the Atlantic weather systems were bringing to Ireland, it's hard for a bee to fly in heavy winds and rain.

It was so laden with pollen from the fresh crocus that it had a hard time flying, clambering rather inelegantly across the flowers unintentionally collecting more pollen before resting on a crocus leaf before heading back to the hive where all that good honey is made and stored.

I haven't as yet seen any bumblebees in 2021 but will of course be keeping a look out.

Thankfully for me, for the bee and beekind there is better weather on the way over the next few days with plenty of sunshine to boost those lacklustre totals for February so far.

Irish native honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera laden with pollen on crocus leaf
Irish native honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera laden with pollen on crocus leaf

 

Irish native honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera laden with pollen on crocus in spring
Irish native honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera laden with pollen on crocus in spring
Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2021 01:32
Darren McLoughlin

International travel photographer and Irishman in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

https://darrenmcloughlin.com

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