Recent Posts

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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by Bakersdozen on July 08, 2024, 08:03:59 pm »
7/6/24: Wingstem and some sedums in full sun.
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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by Bakersdozen on July 07, 2024, 11:29:08 am »
The sourwood is ON!  Some of my hives are up to 7 boxes!
Cool!

Chicory starting blooming about 7/1. All this rain really has made a difference in it.
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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by The15thMember on July 04, 2024, 04:44:50 pm »
The sourwood is ON!  Some of my hives are up to 7 boxes!
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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by Bakersdozen on July 03, 2024, 12:44:25 pm »
66061: Chicory is blooming everywhere and thick.
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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by Bakersdozen on July 02, 2024, 07:00:59 am »
Our major nectar flow is over 7/1/24. A friend's Korean evodia tree just started blooming. He dug a seedling for me. I've had it for about 3 years now and it's doing well. Still waiting for it's first blooms.
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Other Pollinators / Some Baby Beneficials
« Last post by The15thMember on June 24, 2024, 09:52:07 pm »
We found two interesting beneficial insects today in our garden, neither one in the adult stage yet. 

First is a drone fly larva.  You know those flies that every news outlet mistakes for honey bees and puts pictures of them attached to articles about bees?  Well, they are aquatic as a larva, and have a little tail that they also use like a snorkel.  I'm told fisherman call them "rattails".  This one was in our vinyl pool we have set up for our goslings.  It seemed like it was trying to get out of the water, so we put it in another dish with some soil and some water, and it buried into the soil, to pupate I'm assuming. 

The second are two potter wasp nests, both capped, on a leaf of our lamb's ear plant.  I can't tell the species just from the pot, but potter wasps are solitary, and most are predators of caterpillars, so each pot presumably contains a paralyzed caterpillar and an egg.  The one pot still had some very damp mud on it, so it must have just been capped.   





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Other Pollinators / Bumble Bee Atlas
« Last post by The15thMember on June 23, 2024, 06:46:23 pm »
For anyone interested in bumble bees and pollinator conservation, consider joining your local bumble bee atlas.  A project from the Xerces Society and state wildlife management organizations, it allows citizen scientists to go out and look for bumble bees to help establish baseline population data for your area.  It's really easy and a great summer project to do with kids or a group of friends and will help you learn about the bumble bees in your area while contributing important information to help us all learn more about bumble bees and the struggles they face.  20 states are currently participating in the project.
https://www.bumblebeeatlas.org/
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Other Pollinators / Pollinator Event
« Last post by Bakersdozen on June 22, 2024, 11:22:45 am »
Yesterday I participated in a Pollinator week event at a local park dedicated to pollinators and education.  There are educational events twice a year at this park. The event celebrating pollinator week is centered around children. Kids in summer camps or programs arrive in buses with counselors.  The organizers keep inviting me back, so I guess I am doing a fairly good job of representing honey bees.
This year my objective was to teach the children and adults that different pollinators have a preference for different floral sources based on color, scent, time of day, and flower shape or Pollinator Syndromes. After showing a chart I had made with preferences for bees, butterflies, bats, birds, beetles, flies, wind, and moths the kids got to play a game board I made.  I created a Match Game for the kids to play out of foam board, construction paper, velcro, etc.  It looks like part of the game board is in the last picture. I wish I had taken a picture of the game because  honey dripped on all over it from honey sticks we gave to everyone. It worked pretty well and it gave me an opportunity to explain that one plant species can attract multiple pollinators. Also, the concept that wind can be a pollinator too was something that was new to them.
In addition to the usual hive body, smoker, block of beeswax, etc. displayed and we explained to those interested I had displayed flowering plants with signage saying Plant This! and Don't Plant This! That's a good conversation started with adults.








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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Vitex Tree source
« Last post by Bakersdozen on June 10, 2024, 12:07:41 pm »
I have two Vitex trees and they are honey bee magnets. I had an email advertisement from this company, in my inbox today, offering Vitex trees. They are hardy. One tree is growing in the worst clay soil you can imagine. I highly recommend this tree to beekeepers. Last winter my location dropped below -20F. and I did see a little die back. I am seeing buds now. My Vitex typically starts blooming about the 3rd week of June.
I have purchased other live plants from this business and they have done well. Strictly Medicinal Seeds can be a good source for the hard to find but good nectar/pollen sources. https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/product/nirgundi-vitex-negundo-tree/
Several years ago an Asian family knocked on my door asking if they could take some of the foliage to make a poultice with for the mother. I was happy to oblige but very curious about how it was used and was it successful. 
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Honey, Bee Forage; Nectar & Pollen Sources / Re: What blooms where and when
« Last post by The15thMember on June 06, 2024, 04:57:19 pm »
The basswood has exploded, and the elderberries and chestnuts are also open.
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