Monthly Archives: July 2012
|Bumble bee male ( yellowish head) on red clover.
Photo credit-Ian Lane- with permission
Clover is probably the most abundant and best producer of nectar available to bees within the city and into the suburbs. Of course blackberry is another great flower for bees since it also produces lots of nectar.
|Bumble bees on summer flowers|
|Bumble bee- Bombus vosnechenskii|
What is so neat about these bees flying into July is that they are flying and nesting in a nectar and pollen rich time period. As a beekeeper we know that spring is a time when nectar and pollen is abundant for nesting. This period is followed June, which is usually a dearth period. In June, food in the form of pollen and nectar is scarce. Early spring flowers have finished blooming and summer flowers are still developing. Therefore, June is normally a very difficult period for mason bees to survive and not starve since they do not store honey( unlike the honey bees). Thus, surviving through to July is quite the miracle! the surviving mason bees are now again in a bountiful period, when blackberry, fireweed and other summer flowers produce lots of pollen and nectar.
It July 8/12. Is it too early to put a cloth bag over mason bee boxes to keep out predators?
We are in Comox, Vancouver Island. – Margaret