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What are bees foraging on at present


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Plenty of pollen coming in off the buttercup that has started flowering.

If only all town sections looked like this. I found this today on a lunchtime stroll through a new housing area. Its near an inlet so the sections are built up about 1.5 metres.  This is looking

Blimen Heck.  I am at 9235.  I am not going to become a queen. It may be the fashionable thing now days,  But !!!!

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Worked a site thismorning that has a bit of manuka scattered around but has never got much of it before, thinking they might need a feed but no, dripping with new manuka coming in. Strong and bitter tasting, the good stuff. And an incredible bee line running the best part of a km to where the manuka stand is.

 

Doubt it will amount to anything I can harvest, but may bode well for some of my other sites 🙂.

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Rosemary is still going gang busters, unfortunately, I didnt note in my diary when they started working on this.

The Tuscon Blue variety is just starting to flower and already got bees on them, it will be interesting to see how long that goes for.

 

Baby lavendar I got from Bunnings last year, now has a load on it all day.....compare that to the whole packet of Dwarf Munstead lavendar seed that I grew and after 3 years of flowering...1 bumblebee and looking dead for most of the year.

 

Bluebells,  a pollen source, nice big lumps same colour, sort of as the Rosemary, but at least twice the amount and all day.

 

If you are thinking of planting trees as pollen sources, dont put in Italian Alder or Hazel- wind pollinated and the bees just are not interested.

 

Edited by mischief
typo
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Winged and nodding Thistles have purple pollen. I once saw a white nodding Thistle , from a distance it looked pretty good but close up it resembled a small cup of maggots .

The other day my bees at home were working a silver birch, quite freely for pollen. This is a wind pollinated plant.

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22 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

That's interesting, because I wanted to note the purple pollen, but when I inspect nodders - they have have large granules of cream pollen.  

When I had hives at the Bealey i noticed very dark pollen in the hives, dark blue or black and i believe that is from the vipers. The only purple pollen i have seen in my hives is from Fuchsia

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45 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

That's interesting, because I wanted to note the purple pollen, but when I inspect nodders - they have have large granules of cream pollen.  

I have noticed that bees do Not always stick to a single source when they are working on the little stuff. eg today, collecting pollen from blue bells, then go onto the rosemary for nectar. I always keep a few thistles in the back yard just in case I need to make a restorative tea for some needy plant but they dont usually flower til mid summer. I did think they had pale yellow pollen, but cant remember, so I will have to make sure i note it down.

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Its a hungry time for bees here.

I have stuff in the garden , but nothing really happening in the bush .

Had the hakea over winter. There is lots in Golden bay and it flowered well. 

Local beeks find it a very usefull winter flow .

I read it was wild all over northland . Is it still around.

Kamahi is next big flow. Thank god it is so reliable . If it failed we would all be in big trouble .

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23 hours ago, Maggie James said:

That's interesting, because I wanted to note the purple pollen, but when I inspect nodders - they have have large granules of cream pollen.  

I am 100% sure that winged Thistle produces a purple pollen. I'm pretty sure nodding Thistle is purple as well and Scotch Thistle has a cream-coloured pollen but maybe I have mixed the last two up. We used to get major crops of nodding Thistle honey every four or five years but the introduced parasites have pretty much destroyed it as far as honey production goes.

Nodding Thistle was a beautiful honey, in my opinion even better than clover or pumpkin which are both some of the nicest white honeys around..

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14 minutes ago, john berry said:

Nodding Thistle was a beautiful honey,

This was it's own beautiful honey varietal, and of export quality.  I will have to keep my eyes skimmed for a flowering nodder with purple pollen!

 

Well there ya go!  I have mastered the edit button under the new edit scheme

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On 23/09/2020 at 7:41 PM, john berry said:

I am 100% sure that winged Thistle produces a purple pollen. I'm pretty sure nodding Thistle is purple as well and Scotch Thistle has a cream-coloured pollen but maybe I have mixed the last two up. We used to get major crops of nodding Thistle honey every four or five years but the introduced parasites have pretty much destroyed it as far as honey production goes.

Nodding Thistle was a beautiful honey, in my opinion even better than clover or pumpkin which are both some of the nicest white honeys around..

Did Arataki ever produce a thistle honey? I seem to recall a honey like that as a child back in the late 70’s

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Arataki did produce a thistle probably around that time . Despite being a beautiful honey it didn't sell well probably because of the name Thistle.

You have to remember this was back in the days when New Zealanders ate  clover honey, mild cheddar used fat for frying and anybody that ate anything different was either foreign, Communist or both.

Mind you I still think food fried in fat tasted better.

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On 26/09/2020 at 9:19 AM, john berry said:

Arataki did produce a thistle probably around that time . Despite being a beautiful honey it didn't sell well probably because of the name Thistle.

You have to remember this was back in the days when New Zealanders ate  clover honey, mild cheddar used fat for frying and anybody that ate anything different was either foreign, Communist or both.

Mind you I still think food fried in fat tasted better.

We were very lucky , our generation, we grew up in an innocent time where we could enjoy all sorts of food without guilt or knowledge that it may  shorten our lives .

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These were a couple of pollen samples I collected in town earlier this year (one in January and one in March) that both have purple pollen in them (not Fuchsia). Hopefully will find out what they are sometime...

Love12032020.jpg

Shetlandst18012020.jpg

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On 28/09/2020 at 9:30 AM, john berry said:

If anyone gets any kowhai honey this year they should try a finger full. It's a unique taste that you won't forget in a hurry.

It's a very fine honey.  I used to get it on Huntsbury Hill at my parents, combined with citrus.  Beautiful fine taste, and such a clear honey

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On 28/09/2020 at 7:13 PM, Otto said:

These were a couple of pollen samples I collected in town earlier this year (one in January and one in March) that both have purple pollen in them (not Fuchsia). Hopefully will find out what they are sometime...

Love12032020.jpg

Shetlandst18012020.jpg

What's the white stuff Otto.  Never seen that here in the boondocks

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