The saffron has just about finished now and I am only getting two or three blooms a day. I took this picture on the 21 October 2020 to show the average daily “harvest” I was getting at this period.
I always leave collecting the saffron until late afternoon so that the bumble bees can enjoy them before I pick them. However, after I collected flowers, I got busy and left the bowl until the next morning.
In the morning I started to open up the flowers and put the pistils to one side to dry. Then I saw my stowaway!
A little bee was in the saffron! At least this time I can be sure of my identification down to the family level. It is a female from the Halictidae family as you can see the groove or rima at the end of her abdomen. She is likely a Halictus scabiosa as I see them frequently in the garden.
She had slept inside the saffron all night in the dining room and was still sleepy in the morning when I discovered her.
She had the intention of passing the night outside inside the flower until I had picked the flower with her fast asleep inside!
She flew off quite happily with a little bit of encouragement from me.
She could be an over-wintering queen.
I wonder if I will see her in the garden next spring?