Archive for the ‘Bee-loving flowers’ Category

We planted fennel this year to attract bees and butterflies.  We never saw the butterflies, but we spotted the caterpillars and later on the bees.

August 22, 2014...we started seeing caterpillars on the fennel.

August 22, 2014…we started seeing caterpillars on the fennel.

Caterpillars are voracious eaters.  Michael Marlow has an up close video of one eating a stem.  It doesn't waste any time.  I started noticing my fennel branches were getting bare, then I saw the caterpillars.

Caterpillars are voracious eaters. Michael Marlow has an up close video of one eating a stem. It doesn’t waste any time. I started noticing my fennel branches were getting bare, then I saw the caterpillars.

This is could be one of the earlier stages of growth.  More information about the many stages

This is could be one of the earlier stages of growth. The life cycle of the Black Swallowtail Butterflies can be found here.

Fennel can grow quite tall.  This one is at least 7 ft. tall.

Fennel can grow quite tall. This one is at least 7 ft. tall.  I wonder if the chrysalis will be hidden in the undergrowth.

The honeybees have been visiting the fennel since early September.

The honeybees have been visiting the fennel since early September.  I don’t know what the insect at the top is, but it’s very colorful.  My wife thinks its a Great Golden Digger Wasp.

This shows the color of gathered pollen.

I’m happy the bees like fennel too.

The parsley muncher

October 8...more caterpillars seen last week and today.  I hope to see many Swallowtail butterflies next spring.

October 8…more caterpillars seen last week and today. I hope to see many Swallowtail butterflies next spring.

 

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As soon as the nectar flow quit (blackberries), the bees started working the Phacelia.  It was then that I noticed the blue pollen. I can see why they preferred blackberries...these blossoms are hard to work.

As soon as the main nectar flow quit (blackberries), the bees started working the Phacelia. It was then that I noticed the blue pollen.
I can see why they preferred blackberries…these blossoms are hard to work.

A bee works the borage in late July.

A bee works the borage in late July.  A second batch of borage has reseeded itself and will hopefully bloom during autumn.

August 22, 2014...I finally visited Barbara's Mock Orange tree. It was everything she said it was. Covered in white blossoms with bees all over it.  Note:  this might NOT be a Mock Orange.  See below what Carol Quish of University of Connecticut had to say.

August 22, 2014…I finally visited Barbara’s Mock Orange tree. It was everything she said it was. Covered in white blossoms with bees all over it. Note: this might NOT be a Mock Orange. See below what Carol Quish of University of Connecticut had to say.

 

Two bees on Barbara's Eucryphia Tree

Two bees on Barbara’s Eucryphia Tree

August 29, 2014...When I think of summer, this is what I picture. SUNFLOWERS. Last year we had precious few. This year we grew a few more for the bees.

August 29, 2014…When I think of summer, this is what I picture. SUNFLOWERS. Last year we had precious few. This year we grew a few more for the bees.  It was hard to stay in the shop during the blue sky, bee-flying, sunny days.

September 1...I'm soooo glad I planted these Autumn Joy sedums a couple of years ago.  The bees get nectar from it from late August through September.  How many bees do you see?  It's easier to count them in the video.  When we first got the notion to buy these Autumn Joy sedums, it was mid September, 2012.  My wife was unloading the potted plants and the bees found them as she was carrying them out to the garden.  If you have some space, buy some right away.  Your bees will thank you. :)

September 1…I’m soooo glad I planted these Autumn Joy sedums a couple of years ago. The bees get nectar from it from late August through September. How many bees do you see? It’s easier to count them in the video.
When we first got the notion to buy these Autumn Joy sedums, it was mid September, 2012. My wife was unloading the potted plants and the bees found them as she was carrying them out to the garden. If you have some space, plant some right away. Your bees will thank you. :)

A Ctenucha Multifaria partakes of the nectar too.

A Ctenucha Multifaria partakes of the nectar too.

 

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August 16, 2014...This anemone dahlia serves as a rest stop.

August 16, 2014…This anemone dahlia serves as a rest stop.

Looking over Kathy's dahlias at some of the 2500 kinds that must be whittled down to 100.

Looking over Kathy’s dahlias at some of the 2500 kinds that must be whittled down to 100.

Kathy grows dahlias…lots of them.  Knowing of my interest in bees, she has explained how bees have helped her to grow different kinds of dahlias.  For many years, she hand pollinated the dahlias she wanted to hybridize.  About a year and a half ago, a swarm of bees chose a nearby cedar tree as their future home and started visiting her dahlias.  Kathy says she gets much better results from the bees’ pollination.   She collected the seeds after pollination and grew over 2500 kinds.  Of the 2500, she will select only about 100 that make the grade.  (I’m glad I don’t have to decide, I like them all.)

This is one of 2500 varieties that Kathy grew this year.  She must whittle it down to about 100 keepers.

This is one of 2500 varieties that Kathy grew this year. She must whittle it down to about “100 keepers.”

 

This is known as a giraffe pattern.  Kathy says she is indebted to the bees for this one.

This is known as a giraffe pattern dahlia. Kathy says she is indebted to the bees for their pollination services.  I am intrigued by the variety of styles.

Orchette  Get this from Kathy.

An orchid form dahlia

 

August 16, 2014...Since the bees adopted this tree sometime last year, Kathy has let them pollinate her dahlias.

August 16, 2014…Since the bees adopted this high up cavity in a cedar tree, Kathy has benefited from them pollinating her dahlias.  In the video you can see how high up it is with a steady stream of bees flying in and out.

Is this a keeper or will it go into the compost?

Is this a keeper or will it go into the compost?  Kathy hasn’t decided yet, but she does like what she sees.  It started opening up yesterday and will look different tomorrow, “it’s promising,” she says.

Kathy says she is indebted to the bees for making this one.  She is planning to keep it.

Kathy says she is indebted to the bees for making this one which she is planning to keep.

Sunspot...a mignon dahlia creation that Kathy has let us grow for our bees.

Sunspot…a mignon dahlia creation that Kathy has let us grow for our bees.

 

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August 5, 2014...Male squash blossom (possibly an acorn squash)  You can see the small sipping holes where the bees get the nectar.

August 5, 2014…Male squash blossom (possibly an acorn squash) You can see the small sipping holes where the bees get the nectar.  Male blossoms open earlier than female blossoms and stay open for days at a time.

August 1, 2014...A honeybee sipping nectar from a male squash blossom.  This was a surprise to me, that male blossoms had nectar.

August 1, 2014…A honeybee sipping nectar from a male squash blossom.   The bee picks up pollen from the anther to transfer to the female blossom.

Honeybee sipping from nectar fountain of the female squash blossom...rubbing pollen upward onto the stigma (?)

The blossom provides  nectar to attract pollinators.  This honeybee is sipping from nectar fountain of the female squash blossom…rubbing pollen onto the stigma.

August 6, 2014...this female blossom just opened today.  Already there is a bee in attendance.

August 6, 2014…this female blossom just opened today. Already there is a bee in attendance.

I'll keep an eye on this acorn squash for a couple of days...it should start getting larger.

Open at 9:29 am or before…

After being opened one day only, this female blossom closed up shop.  Male blossoms open earlier than females and stay open for days at a time.

Closed at 7:04 pm…after being opened only one day, this female blossom closed up shop.

 

August 7, 2014...blossom closed yesterday and remains closed.  A measurement of 1 3/16" (30 mm) is made on the diameter.

August 7, 2014…blossom closed yesterday and remains closed. A measurement of 1 3/16″ (30 mm) is made on the diameter of the tiny acorn squash.

 

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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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