Archive | July, 2012

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.


Save Your Wine Corks for the Bees

7 Jul

If you’re like me, you’ve got a drawer full of wine corks imbued with optimistic ideas about cork bathmats or cork trivets and yet they continue to lead an empty existence.

Waste no more.

Whether you’re a beekeeper or a bee lover, you can help your neighborhood honeybees AND recycle a few wine corks all in one superhero swoop. Here’s how:

  1. Take a handful of corks
  2. Toss ’em in a bucket or birdbath filled with clean water
  3. Watch your neighborhood honeybees come drinking
  4. Keep the water replenished regularly

Wine cork drinking bucket for bees at the Lurie Garden, Chicago.