The Pollen Files: Deploying the Ground Troops

8 Jul

Apparently the air force isn’t enough to unload the Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica) blooming in my backyard. It’s a vigorous, glorious explosion at a time when resources have gone dry in Albuquerque, so the girls have decided to call in the ground troops for timely assistance.

Japanese pagoda tree in luscious bloom

While their airborne sisters rush to extract pollen each morning from the delicate pea-like blooms, a few dozen honeybees scour the ground for fallen blossoms still containing a bit of pollen.

Scouring the ground for pollen-filled blossoms from the Pagoda Tree

It’s an unusual two-pronged approach. Never before have I seen seen bees gathering pollen from the ground so here’s yet another item on the growing list of the existential pleasures of beekeeping.

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2 Responses to “The Pollen Files: Deploying the Ground Troops”

  1. BeyondRiceandTofu July 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi Chantal!
    We also have a Japanese Pagoda Tree in our yard and the other week we noticed how the tree was buzzing, literally, with activity. Since then, my husband has been sure to give the tree an extra drink or two to keep it blooming in this hot, dry weather. I need to remember to look and see if our bees are deploying the ground troops also. I wonder if the bees weere pulling the pollen from the blossoms that have been knocked to the ground prematurely due to the bursts of weather we’ve been having…?
    I was in Los Alamos last week and noticed that the bees were all over the Golden Rain Trees up there (Koelreuteria paniculata).
    Love reading your musings!

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