Archive for the ‘Bee-loving flowers’ Category

July 18, 2014...Although I walk past this plant just about every day, I never took notice of it until it started blooming about a week ago.  I became curious whether bees would be attracted to it.  Yes, there were...even as early as 8:30 am..

July 18, 2014…Although I walk past this New Zealand Flax  just about every day, I never took notice of it until it started blooming about a week ago. I became curious whether bees would be attracted to it. Yes, they were…even as early as 8:30 am..

July 17, 2014...bee going deep for nectar.  I recently read a website that honeybees can't get the nectar from New Zealand Flax, and yet I saw many honeybees attending these blossoms.

July 17, 2014…bee going deep for nectar. I recently read a website that stated honeybees can’t get the nectar from New Zealand Flax, and yet I saw many honeybees attending these blossoms.

July 12, 2014...Hummingbirds also visited, but were often chased away by rivals.  Why is that?  There is plenty to go around.  "Why can't they cooperate for the common good," my wife asks? I have no answer...Why can't humans cooperate for the common good?  Looking at our blue planet from space, seeing nothing around that's inhabitable for light year distances, you'd think we'd want to work together for our mutual survival.  Just some thoughts in light of the current world affairs.

July 12, 2014…Hummingbirds also visited, but were often chased away by rivals. Why is that? There is plenty to go around. “Why can’t they cooperate for the common good,” my wife wonders?  I have no idea…Why can’t humans cooperate for the common good? Looking at our blue planet from space, seeing nothing around that’s habitable for light year distances, you’d think we’d want to work together for our mutual survival.
Just some random thoughts in light of the disturbing current world affairs.

July 14, 2014...July 14, 2014...When I saw reddish orange pollen coming into my Bee-atrice Log Hive, I wondered where it was coming from.being transported into the hive...perhaps nectar too?

July 14, 2014…When I saw reddish orange pollen coming into my Bee-atrice Log Hive, I wondered where it was coming from.

Reddish orange pollen.  I was wondering where that was coming from

Reddish orange pollen, coming from the New Zealand Flax.

Ants like it too.  When I was shooting the video I waited and waited until the ant emerged, then another, and another.

Ants like it too. When I was shooting the video I waited and waited until this ant emerged, then another came up,  and another.

History of flax use in New Zealand

The Short Story of Flax in New Zealand

How to clean and harvest New Zealand Flax

How to make a small purse using the leaves.

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June 29, 2014...Honeybees and hummingbirds get nectar from these little gems.

June 29, 2014…Honeybees and hummingbirds get nectar from these little gems.  We’ve decided to grow more alliums next year because the bees love them and the deer don’t.

June 23, 2014...We started these seeds under lights in the house, hoping they would turn out well.  We're very happy with the results and the bees love them too.

June 23, 2014…We started these Cosmos seeds under lights in the house, hoping they would turn out well. We’re very happy with the results and the bees love them too.

June 10, 2014...Honeybee getting nectar.

June 10, 2014…Honeybee getting nectar on this Cosmos

June 16, 2014...This little stand of California poppies planted itself on my Hugelkulture bed.  In the background you can see some wallflowers (Erysimum).

June 16, 2014…This little stand of California poppies planted itself on my Hugelkulture bed. In the background you can see some wallflowers (Erysimum).

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What kind of bee is this?  Maybe Amelia or standingoutinmyfield will know.

What kind of bee is this? Maybe Amelia or standingoutinmyfield will know.

A new type of poppy, called a Twister poppy.  Attracts bumblebees and is a pay grade above the California poppy.

A new type of poppy, called a Twister poppy. Attracts bumblebees and is a pay grade or two above the California poppy.

I started the Phacellia seeds in the house to attract the honeybees, but rarely do I see honeybees on them. No problem, we need to help the bumblebee as well, in this case the Yellow-faced bumblebee. (bombus Vosnosenkii)

I started the Phacellia seeds to attract the honeybees, but rarely do I see honeybees on them. No problem, we need to help the bumblebee as well, in this case the Yellow-faced bumblebee. (bombus Vosnosenkii)

Relatively short-lived, this Veronica Longifolia, 'Pink Eveline' served as a nectar source for a short time.

Relatively short-lived, (blossom wise) this Veronica Longifolia, ‘Pink Eveline’ served as a nectar source for a short time.

Speedwell, Veronica Spicata, 'Royal Candles.'  The colors of this one stand out well.

Speedwell, Veronica Spicata, ‘Royal Candles.’ The colors  stand out well.

June 29, 2014...Sometimes when the bumblebee exits this blossom, it will pick up a streak of white pollen

June 29, 2014…Sometimes when the bumblebee exits this blossom, it will pick up a streak of white pollen up it’s back.

Piano composition by Kiera O’Hara.

Music by “The Bottom Rung”

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“And then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was greater that the risk it took to bloom.”   Anaïs Nin

May 13, 2014...Showing signs of swelling.  Outside starting to split open.

May 13, 2014…Showing signs of swelling. Outside starting to split open.

May 21, 2014...Showing some color on blossom.

May 15, 2014…It’s swelling up, getting ready to burst open.

May 27, 2014...Tulip Tree blossom emerges at long last.

May 27, 2014…Tulip Tree blossom emerges at long last.

May 27, 2014...The inside of a new blossom is well worth the wait.

May 27, 2014…The inside of a new blossom is well worth the wait.

May 27, 2014...this honeybee got down to business, really got into the work of getting nectar.

This honeybee got down to work.  In the video you can see the bee moving to the rhythms of “Havana.”

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…and gets it from the honeybees!

June 2, 2014...The pink poppy just opened up this morning.  Maybe that's why there are so many bees on it.  Many more than the red ones.

June 2, 2014…This pink poppy (Pink Princess) just opened up this morning. The honeybees seem to favor it over the red poppies..

By contrast, there is only one bee at a time on the red poppies.  Maybe they think it's more dignified. :-)

By contrast, there is only one bee at a time on the red poppies. Maybe they think it’s more dignified. :-)

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May 29, 2014...At one time there were five bees in here.  By the time I grabbed the camera they had all left the scene.

May 29, 2014…My wife said there were five bees on this earlier, but when I grabbed the camera, I only caught one bee.

May 28, 2014...The New Zealand Cabbage trees are blooming.  Our bees love it.

May 28, 2014…My neighbor’s  New Zealand Cabbage trees are blooming. I’m glad it’s on someone else’s property because there is a strong odor associated with it.  Our bees love it.

May 28, 2014...New Zealand Cabbage has been blooming awhile.  There is  a strong odor that attracts the bees as they are numerous.

May 28, 2014…New Zealand Cabbage has been blooming awhile.  Our bees are all over it, all day.

May 27, 2014...A skipper is probing the depths for nectar.  In the video, you can see it try several spots before finally succeeding.  The bees love this plant as well.

May 27, 2014…A skipper is probing the depths of this Pink Chintz Thyme for nectar. In the video, you can see it try several spots before finally succeeding. The bees love this plant as well.

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…that’s when she called me.

May 1, 2014 Mid afternoon...Photo by Mary Schamehorn.  I'm glad Mary got a shot of this.  When I got there, they were relatively peaceful.

May 1, 2014 mid afternoon…Photo by Mary Schamehorn. I’m glad Mary got a shot of this. When I got there, they were relatively peaceful.

4:38 pm...By the time I got there, the bees had settled in.

4:38 pm…By the time I got there, the bees had settled within the birdhouse.  I looked at it, determined I could remove it from the post, and got my tools together.  Ha ha, the screws were rusty I couldn’t get them to budge before stripping them out.  I had to remove the post too.

I placed the birdhouse next to the newly assembled and baited  Warre hive.   I was hoping the bees would recognize a 4 star lodge with ample room to grow.

I placed it  next to the newly assembled and baited Warre hive in my bee garden.  I was hoping the bees would recognize a 4 star lodging with ample room to grow…they didn’t.  I gave them plenty of time to reconsider, but they weren’t having it.  I couldn’t leave them there, like that.  I didn’t want to grind the brackets off or pry the birdhouse floor off because it would have been too stressful.  “Dramatic and traumatic” are words I like to avoid in beekeeping.

Okay, I’ve got to move the birdhouse out of the bee garden because, well, we’ve got to be able to weed and water without the bees buzzing us.  After two days, I pre-dug a post hole, waited til night and ‘posted’ the birdhouse among the ferns about 20 feet away.  (Something most beekeepers would tell you NOT to do because the bees might not be able to find their way back to the hive.)  I stuffed tissue paper into the entrance hole so the bees would notice something was different.  They would have to make orientation flights all over again.  I’m thinking that maybe the Warre was too close to the birdhouse…if I move it away, maybe they will want it more.  My wife said I was crazy to think that.  I says, ‘maybe,’ but we’ve got to get it out of the way.

 

Next day, the birdhouse/hive is in it's new location.  The bees are aware something is different because of the tissue paper stuffed in the entrance hole.

Next day, the birdhouse/hive is in it’s new location. The bees are aware something is different because of the tissue paper stuffed in the entrance hole.

 

As I wife bicycled to town, I noticed a bunch of activity between the birdhouse and the Warre hive.  I got my camera to document my findings...I was going to have it on camera so I could show my wife I knew what I was doing.

As my wife bicycled to town, I noticed a bunch of activity between the birdhouse and the Warre hive. I got my camera to document my findings…I was going to have it on camera so I could show her I knew what I was doing.  They are fanning from the nasonov gland to indicate the queen is within.  Wow, that didn’t take long.  My wife is going to have to admit I was right, but I’ll be humble and admit it’s just a stroke of luck.  But it was too good to be true.  By the time she returned the crowd at the entrance was thinning and the bees rejected this hive once again.

 

Here is where they will stay.  It's the house they chose and while the location has changed a few times, the house is the same.

Here is where they will stay. It’s the house they chose and while the location has changed a few times, the house is the same.  I just wish I could have fastened it to a taller post.

Mary's bees have settled in now.  They have discovered the Poached egg meadowfoam.

Mary’s bees have settled in now. They have discovered the Poached egg meadowfoam.

Mary's bee cleaning off her antennae.  How do I know they are Mary's bees?  The abdomen colors are different.  I'm happy to get new genetics in my bee yard.

Mary’s bee cleaning off her antennae. How do I know they are Mary’s bees? The abdomen colors are different. I’m happy to get new genetics in my bee yard.

Mayor Mary’s side of the story…   (Scroll towards the bottom til you see the birdhouse swarm)

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May 10, 2014...as I was driving in to Eugene to visit the kids, we spotted fields of this beautiful plant.

May 10, 2014…as I was driving to Eugene, Oregon, we spotted fields of this beautiful plant.  I asked about it and was referred to Heiko Koester, a garden consultant who specializes in edible, medicinal, and native plants.

Heiko Koester says, “The plant you saw was either Camassia leichtlinii or Camassia quamash.  If it was knee-high or taller it was probably the former, if shorter probably the latter.  Ethnobotanically speaking they are both fairly interchangeable.”

May 10, 2014...a honeybee can be seen looking for the perfect pollen source.  In the video you can see the bee using her mandibles to pull the pollen off.

May 10, 2014…a honeybee can be seen looking for the perfect pollen source. In the video you can see the bee using her mandibles to pull the pollen off.

May 10, 2014...bee in flight over Camas.

May 10, 2014…bee in flight over Camas.  The flower-bee relationship can be seen when the flower opens a petal so the bee can get to the pollen.  I missed it the first few times, so I marked it in the video.

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After attending the funeral, I had just enough time to look for bees in a desert setting.  Just for a little variety, I wanted to photograph bees getting pollen in the Arizona desert where I grew up.

While looking for bees in the Scottsdale area, I found these two green parrots nesting in a saguaro cactus

                     In my quest for bees, I spied  these two green parrots nesting in a saguaro cactus.   Footnote, Lauren Harter has ID’ed these as Rosy-faced Lovebirds.

I so wanted to get some photos of bees on this bush, but I never saw them.

I so wanted to get some photos of bees on this bush, but I never saw a single one.

The Palo Verde trees (Parkinsonia aculeata ) were in full blossom at the airport, but there was no way I could get off the shuttle to set up a camera.

The Palo Verde trees (Parkinsonia aculeata ) were in full blossom at the airport, but it was impossible to get off the shuttle to set up a camera.  Out here, the trees were just coming into bloom, but still no bees on them.

Yellow blossoms on bush

Yellow blossoms…Is it Grey Desert Senna (Senna artemisioides subsp. sturtii)?  I don’t know, but it was a beautiful desert setting in someone’s front yard with Mexican Fence Post to the left, saguaro in the background, and prickly pear in foreground right…no bees, though.

A rock is embedded in this young saguaro.  As it grew it must have carried it upward.

A rock is embedded in this young saguaro. As it grew it must have carried it upward.

A desert bird.  My knowledge of birds is completely underwhelming.

A desert bird. My knowledge of birds is completely underwhelming.  “A Beehive Inside My Heart” says this looks like a Mourning Dove.

Jumping Cholla.

Jumping Cholla.  This cactus doesn’t really jump, but if you’re walking close enough to brush it, a piece will break off and attach itself to you.  It can penetrate a leather boot.  If there is moisture such as contact with skin the tips will curve and lock themselves under the skin.  There are actually two basketballs here, one slightly behind, left of the cactus.

I can picture a spirited basketball game where the ball gets away and bounces against this jumping cholla...and there it stays.

I can picture a spirited basketball game where the ball gets away and bounces against a jumping cholla…and there it stays, because who wants to risk getting stuck with the sharp needles.

Gambel's Quail hiding. They run fast and hide when they are not running.

Gambel’s Quail hiding. They run fast out in the open, then hide under some cactus.  On the video you can see it run between hiding spots.

Could this be a cactus wren?  It's hanging on a palm tree.  If anyone knows, please advise.  You can hear it's song in the video.

Many thanks to Lauren Harter, Jim Fox, and “The Prospect of Bees” for identifying this Gila Woodpecker.   You can hear it’s song in the video.

Thanks to Lauren Harter for the name of this European Starling.

Thanks to Lauren Harter for the name of this European Starling.  In the video the bird just sits on the branch as if to listen to the other bird calls.

In desperation, I asked these fence workers if they know where I can find some honeybees.

I asked the fence installers where I could find honeybees?  They pointed to a broken cinder block that I had just about stepped on.  There was my first sighting of bees.

At first I thought these were wasps, because I had never seen a ground hive of honeybees, but here they are with pollen baskets laden.

At first I thought these had to be wasps, because I had never seen a ground hive of honeybees, but here they are with pollen baskets laden.

Ground hive bees packing orange pollen.  I wonder where they're getting it?

Ground hive bees packing orange pollen. I wonder where they’re getting it?

It's almost time to get packed up and head back to Oregon when my son-in-law mentions he saw bees on the grapefruit trees at the rental.

It’s almost time to get packed up and head back to Oregon when my son-in-law mentions he saw bees on the grapefruit trees at the house where we’re staying.

At last I find the bees, right in my own backyard.

At last I find the bees, right in my own backyard.

One last desert setting at the airport.

One last desert setting at the Phoenix-Mesa airport.  It’s great to visit at this time of year and while I miss the desert colors and bird song in the spring, there is no chance I want to visit in the summer.

The video features a daybreak orchestra of bird calls.

 

If there is moisture, such as with skin, the tips actually curve once they have made contact, locking their spines in place just underneath the skins top layer. OUCH!

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Another example of a ‘bully bee.’

A disagreement over blossom rights.

Our cat likes to play in this grass.  I have no idea why she likes it, but like it she does.  When I had the camera out shooting the bees on the pussy willow last week, I caught her in the act.

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July 10, 2013...Spring veggies harvested, soil spaded and leveled, drip watering in place, this bed is ready to plant our winter garden.

July 7, 2013…Spring veggies harvested, soil spaded and leveled, drip watering in place, this bed is ready to plant our winter garden.

When we planted  turnips, lettuce and kale in July for our winter garden little did we know we were planting for the bees as well as ourselves.

July 28, 2013...turnips are growing nicely in the center, lettuce and kale are on the sides.

July 28, 2013…turnips are growing nicely in the center, lettuce and kale are on the sides. Deer netting over pvc hoops.

January 16, 2014...We had eaten most of the turnips and just left a few to go to seed.  We never thought the bees would be enjoying them in mid January.  What a welcome surprise.

January 16, 2014…We had eaten most of the turnips and just left a few to go to seed. We never thought the bees would be enjoying them in mid January. What a welcome surprise.

February 9, 2014...My apologies for posting such a fuzzy picture of a bee on the catkins,but it was rather high up.  I wanted to show where the pollen was coming from that is going into my log hive.

February 9, 2014…My apologies for posting such a fuzzy picture of a bee on the catkins,but it was rather high up. I wanted to show where the pollen was coming from that is going into my log hive.

February 9, 2014...Many colors of pollen entering the hive.  In the video you can see the bright yellow from the turnip flowers.  It's possible this is from the pussy willows that are just starting to blossom

February 9, 2014…Many colors of pollen can be seen entering the hive. In the video you can see the bright yellow pollen from turnip flowers. It’s possible this shot is from the pussy willows that are just starting to blossom.  The darker orange might be from early gorse.

February 10, 2014...Yellow turnip flowers have been flowering since mid January.  Pussy willows are starting to blossom already.

February 10, 2014…Yellow turnip flowers have been flowering since mid January. Pussy willows are starting to blossom already.  Second bed is producing greens for our salads.  We can eat them 15 minutes after they are picked…can’t get much fresher than that.  We cover them with plastic film (partially visible on far side) on nights of sub freezing temps.

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