Honey Bee Update

bee in a pansy

Rare visit by bee to a pansy.

The side of our house smells like honey during the day this week and well it should as the bees are foraging like crazy. Flower choices are limited at this time of year, perhaps, that is why I saw a bee land on a pansy–bees aren’t attracted to this flower and it left after a few seconds. We keep my bee-attracting growth in one area–like heather and lavender.

Bee in heather

Now, this is more like it.

I took a shot of bees returning to the hive–note the yellow sac on the bee in the upper right–that’s collected nectar.

Nectar

Bee in upper left returning with a full nectar (yellow) sac.

Bees, birds and butterflies are responsible for pollenating more than a third of the crops in the world.

 

The Honey Bee Struggle

Honey bee searches for water in drought conditions.

Honey bee searches for water in drought conditions.

Reasons why honey bees are disappearing is a common research subject these days. Last month a new study suggested that poor nutrition is producing a less prodigious bee. A solution would be to provide bees with year-round access to pesticide-free plants, a dynamic not feasible in areas with cold winters. My California honey bees bask in the sun most of the year, only this year the lack of rain threatens to shorten the blooming season for drought tolerant flowers like California poppies and nasturtiums. The struggle continues.