By Madronna Holden
Bee sipping nectar from a bluebell: note the pollen packet on her leg.
Bees on mountain blue and other asters.
Bees are working everywhere. Please don’t spray! Especially when a plant is blooming. And don’t use insidious granules or injections of products containing “neonics” on trees. These will continue to poison pollinators for years.
Did you know spraying a blooming honey plant is also against the law? Help protect the pollinators that are essential to the majority of human food crops– not to mention the health of our ecosystems.
Bee sipping from an English ivy bloom: photo taken in November when other nectar crops are sparse
Bee heading for a clematis flower and working it
Bees on mint blooms: one of their favorites
Bee on rosemary: herb nectar helps keeps bees healthy
Love that rosemary!
Bee on boxwood: bees work tiny closed buds to get them to open. Research shows that the presence of bees stimulates blooms on other plants as well.
Is it just me or does this bee look a bit giddy? When the blackberry bloom is on in May and early June, the honey flow is abundant!
Lunara blooms in early spring to bring in the bees
And bees don’t forget the forget-me-nots
I can’t say it too often! Don’t poison bees that do so much for us–and don’t poison other wildlife, pets and children!
These photos represent only a very small portion of the diversity of honey plants utilized by bees. For instance, there are our fruit and nut trees. I didn’t get any pictures of bees working twenty or thirty feet in the air, but my burgeoning backyard fruit crop indicates their presence. There are also our ornamentals: such as linden, locust, maple and poplar utliized for nectar, pollen, and propolis (the bee “antibiotic”). They will also work single-petaled roses such as Nootka and Darwin’s Enigma and join native pollinators on mock orange and ceanothus. Bees could compose their own plant encyclopedia– likely far more extensive than the ones humans put together!
Visit Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers for more information on protecting our honeybees and native pollinators.
These photos are protected by copyright Madronna Holden 2013, but feel free to link here and use these pictures (with credit) in any way that supports the protection of our honeybee and native bee populations.