May is the time when results really begin to show. The pleasure of being in a well-stocked, colourful and fragrant garden is really apparent, and if the weather is warm enough even swimming may be possible for those of us who are hardy enough, although the water will still be about 20 deg.C.

We’re talking stingers again! Despite being maligned and feared by many, hornets are far less hostile than so-called ‘social’ wasps – at least towards us humans. Some hornet lovers label our native European species ‘gentle giants’. But we also have Asian hornets in the PO. How do they differ and what’s the problem with them? Lesley McLaren explains.

Fiona Sass and Cindy Guilbert have much in common. They both live in the High Vallespir….and they both have a passion for edible and medicinal weeds and wild plants.

The association Amis of Patrick O’Brian based in Collioure, O’Brian’s home during the most prolific years of his writing life, has been entrusted with the contents of his writing space. The donation includes O’Brian’s books and papers as well as his writing desk, pens and ink.

Coming from the French word terre for “soil,” the word terroir originally described the special characteristics of a region, or piece of land, which gave different varieties of wine, coffee and tea their individuality. (Soil, climate, position, regional traditions….)

As the weather warms up, honey bees stir and the colony starts to grow. Eventually it can get so overcrowded that a second queen is created. And this triggers the original queen’s departure, with 20,000 or so followers, in search of a new home. They fly in a protective bunch around her. But she’s not a strong flier and has to make regular stops – usually in a tree – to get her breath back. Again, the workers will follow and gradually form a tightly packed, hanging mass around her (better described in French as, une barbe). Meanwhile scouts continue to search for suitable permanent premises.

1 2 3 124