Archive for the ‘Bee-loving flowers’ Category

Since mid November this giant Oregon Grape Holly, (mahonia aquifolium) has been blooming and it's likely to keep blooming into January the way the weather has been.  Most people can't believe it, but I'm happy to see so many of my bees getting nourishment from it.  How do I know they're mine?  I'm sure I recognized them. :)

Since mid November this giant Oregon Grape Holly, (mahonia aquifolium) has been blooming and it’s likely to keep blooming into January the way the weather has been. Most people can’t believe it, but I’m happy to see so many of my bees getting nourishment from it. How do I know they’re mine? I’m sure I recognized them. :)

 

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November 5, 2014...On an unusually warm November day, I spotted these hebes growing in front of Bill Sweet Insurance Agency.  The bees were loving it.

November 5, 2014…On an unusually warm November day, I spotted these hebes growing in front of Bill Sweet Insurance Agency. The bees were loving it.  Thanks, Bill.

While the east coast is getting hammered by the polar vortex cold weather, the west coast is enjoying warm sunny days into early November. At this time of year there are very few sources of nectar, so it’s good that the honeybees are getting  a lot from the hebes.  Nectar provides an important energy source (carbohydrate) for the bees.

Many thanks to Steve Montana who has let me use his musical talents as background to the video.  “GaelaMae On The Bluffs” was written by Steve and the banjo music was written by Buell Kasey back in the late 1800’s.  Watch Steve Montana play banjo at the beginning of Sustainable World.  Click on “Soldier’s Joy.”

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Many thanks to Steve Montana for permission to use his music.

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If you want to grow some very colorful flowers that will bloom in September, try these Arizona Suns.

If you want to grow some very colorful flowers that will bloom in September and October, try the Arizona Sun Gallardia.

Watch the crafty crab spider emerge from below the curled petals bottom right.  I’m wondering if the honeybee saw the spider.  It almost looked like it was ‘daring’ the spider to come after it.  I’ve seen enough honeybees that were trapped in the crab spider’s grip to know it’s foolish to tempt fate, but this one got away.

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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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