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Bee attractive plants

Today I stopped by a Oliver Woods Recreation centre in Nanaimo (BC Canada).  It is a beautiful facility.

What really took my fancy were the beautiful raised flowerbeds at the entrance to the building.  Very welcoming.  The colours were stunning.  On closer inspection, bumble bees liked this array of flowers too.

At the end of summer bumble bee colonies stop growing and the colony begins to produce queens and males.  Queens mate with the males or drones and then hibernate over the winter until the following spring.  It is important to have well fed drones so they can fly and mate with the queens.  Flowers that provide nectar for bumble bees are a must.  The flowers in these photos are great nectar producers as the presence of these bumble bees indicate.

Most of these bumble bees are males.  Males usually have yellow heads.

This bumble bee is Bombus vosnechenskii

Grow flowers and they will come.

In the spring, Joe S. and I chatted about providing continuous bloom for bees in his garden.  When one type of flower has finished blooming there should be other flowers just beginning to open and bloom.  Continuous bloom is an important part of managing a continuous food supply for wild bees.

When I photographed his spring blooming flowers, he mentioned that the following bloom would provide food for his summer bees including summer mason bees.

Sedum
Budlea
Italian herbs
Catony aster

This beautiful and wonderfully scented rose is a mega-attractant to bees.

 A old variety that has a great capacity for nectar production.  It was quite amazing to see so many bumble bees in  one flower. It was like they were standing in line for some nectar.  Bumble bees were so busy getting into the flower they took no notice of the photographer.
This rose bush stands about 4 feet tall.

This rose is so attractive to bumble bees that at one
point there were 6 bees inside this one flower.

More bees in this rose.

This orange flower’s name escapes me.  I will add it in later.
the bumble bees loved this plant
The changing vista of an island

The view.

This bumble bee is a male- indicated by the yellow face.
Once you see males foraging in the garden,
the bumble bee colony is near its end.  The queens mate,
and hibernate
by themselves in the ground.
Drumstick Onions with a bumble bee
embedded within the florets

Joe has a great garden for bees.  He tries to have continuous bloom so that bees always have food available to them.

Another onion drumstick with a bumble bee.

Beautiful red columbine with drumstick onions in the background.

Joe S. and three of his gorgeous rhododendrons in bloom.  He tries to attain continuous bloom so that
bees always have food available.

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