Good news: if you act quickly, you can still plant some early-blooming perennial bulbs and corms for your bees. During a quick check of local stores yesterday, I was able to find my three favorites: snowdrops, crocus, and Siberian squill. All of these perennials provide an early supply of pollen for your honey bees just […] Read more
Here is something I would do if I could. Bees in a field of buckwheat seems too good to be true. The source of my all-time favorite honey, Fagopyrum esculentum, just doesn’t want to grow in my shady forest apiary. Believe me, I’ve tried. So I have to be content looking at a photo like […] Read more
Here’s a perfect photo of a perfect honey bee working white sweet clover. Thank you, Bill!
“How can I recognize a nectar death?” is a common newbee question and a hard one to answer. I think most experienced beekeepers know which plants are in flower in any season, which bloom follows another, and how long each lasts. They are attuned to variations in the weather from year to year, and they […] Read more
The photo below came from Trent Amonett of Pullman, Washington. He writes: I took the attached photo this last weekend. We’re in the dearth here in Pullman, and my bees are visiting food sources in my yard, which they normally don’t do. The thistle is a perennial that came with the house. I came close […] Read more
We hear it all the time: the honey bee diet is poor. Bees need more flowers of many different types if they are to survive in the modern world. Once upon a time, flowers were everywhere. Meadows of fragrant blooms shimmied in the breeze, viney tendrils choked fence posts, and tap-rooted weeds squatted in gardens. […] Read more
Dandelions are not perfect bee food, no single species is. Instead, they are very good food. They are early, they are everywhere. They are not particular. They teem with life. As a kid, I hated dandelions. In early spring before they bloomed, the greens—bitter and rank—were served fried in bacon fat and smothered in gravy. […] Read more