When the apple trees came into flower the wind was cold and the few bees in the garden were keeping close to the ground. The only insects visiting the blossom seemed to be a few tiny flies and pollen beetles. The prospect of a good apple crop seemed slim.
The weather warmed a little towards the end of the flowering period and most of the trees set more fruit than they could carry. The smallest have fallen now in the usual June drop.
The pollination may all have been down to the few contended bumble bees that worked their way round the orchard on calm, sunny days but I suspect those tiny flies and beetles had something to do with it too.
The photos don’t give much sense of scale – these apples are only the size of a Brussel sprout at the moment. Strangely all the varieties show a red tinge on the sunny side at this stage even though some, like the Keswick Codlin, will be a pale, greenish yellow when ripe.
Click for a closer view.