Cherry Blossom


Not an essential oils but a food source for my bees. Trees in the street where I live and in the community orchard adjacent to our allotment site will be covered in bees on warm days from now until the blossom goes.

While an important food source for them, I  do not expect to get any honey from this source as the bees are at their lowest this time of year in terms of numbers so their foraging now is to enable the queen to lay more eggs and the nurse bees to feed the young to build up the size of the colony ready for when other even more plentiful resources are available.

Once this would have included crops like white clover,  used to build soil fertility. Sadly now in most years, the first significant honey crop is from Oil Seed Rape,  an industrial scale crop which is mostly heavily sprayed. Despite using no chemicals and using very non-industrial methods in my bee keeping I would never be able to get organic certification as that requires a six mile radius of land around my hives that is certified organic. (There is nowhere in UK that satisfies this requirement.) I personally would like to see organic certification scrapped in favour of a tax on environmentally destructive chemicals and mandatory labelling detailing all pesticides, fungicides and herbicides used as well as artificial fertilisers.

As well as producing honey, the bees also make wax with the nectar they collect. (Pollen is their protein source.) While in an ideal world, wax would not be harvested, because pesticides from gathered nectar and pollen concentrate in the wax it is a good policy to ensure the wax is changed regularly in hives. I like to do this early so that there is a minimum of pesticide residue in the wax I use for making a skin balm by adding olive oil and essential oils. (My standard mix uses Frankincense and Geranium oils which produces an incredibly nurturing balm.