This is a true wild honey bee, not a domesticated bee gone feral. They are about 30% smaller than the domesticated bees. These guys are to domestic bees what a wild ox is to a Holstein milker. Domestic bees were bred to be larger so they could carry more pollen, and produce more honey. Many beekeepers are breeding their bees back to the original smaller size, as a protection against varroa mites, Small Cell Beekeeping. The smaller bees hatch out one day earlier, and the mites need that one extra day in order to hatch out with the bee. The smaller bees are also said to be more active, and keep their hives cleaner. We would like one day to start beekeeping, until then, I keep my eyes on the wild bees.
We also had our first glorious salad yesterday, as a noonday reward after a morning of planting seeds under the sun. It is a mixture of Mesculn greens, Mizuna mustard greens, and Dandelion greens. And a salad dressing of homemade goat ghee, homemade apple cider vinegar, apple butter, salt, coriander and a touch of cayenne. We certainly relished it, spreading a blanket in the shade to further enjoy the delight of spring.
I always leave some Dandelions in the garden after the fall harvest, so that I can dig them up in the spring for the nutritious early greens, as well as the nutritious roots. I planted some coffee Chicory last spring as well. I left most of the crop to go to seed, but had to try some Chicory and Dandelion coffee. The coffee Chicory roots are much larger than I expected, and are a crop well worth planting. I scrubbed the roots and trimmed off the fine root hairs from the Dandelions,
and roasted them in a 200 degree oven until crisp and golden brown.