Today, 8/20/2016, is national honeybee day. Honeybees (Apis mollifera) are “imports” from Europe that are “farmed” (and trucked) to perform pollination services for a variety of crops and to produce honey. Our nation’s beekeepers report a decline of 44% from April 2014 to April 2016 in their honeybee populations.
Help out all of our pollinators by including pollen and nectar plants in your yard!
Pictured above is a honeybee on yellowtop (Flaveria linearis), which is, once again, beginning to flower. Yellowtop is a member of the daisy family (Asteracae); Look carefully to to distinguish the petals (which are really bracts) from the tiny flower with its reward of nectar and pollen. Thanks to Bob Montanaro for this beautiful photograph; Click here to visit his website.
Another aster, blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) flowers throughout the year and attracts bees and other pollinators …
Honeybees and some other social bees “carry” pollen in specialized structures on their hind legs commonly called pollen baskets (corbicula). Take note of the “wad” of pollen carried by this honeybee on its way to visit dotted bee balm (Monarda punctuata).