First Blooms

Since I started keeping bees in 2015, I have tried to track the flowers that appear in our yard. We have a couple acres here in Virginia, and quite a few trees and other landscaping. Not to mention our very “pollinator friendly lawn” full what other people less bee-inclined might refer to as weeds (perish the thought). As I mentioned in my post on growing degree days, the bulbs come up rather early this year. The past week we saw our first flowers appear so I thought it would be a good time to share a little project I’ve been working on.

One of my winter projects was to put my date into a Google Sheet and include historical weather date so I could calculate the growing degree days (GDD) values for my blooms. I am probably not the best at recording the first bloom, sometimes getting it late or failing to identify the flower at the right time. Still, I am pleased that I have all the notes and now have them in a single file, although I admit that the 2019 and 2020 data is a little sparse.

You can view the Bees with eeb Blooms file in Google Sheets. I am still looking for a better source of historical temperatures near our property, as many of the temperatures are from Manassas Airport which is 15 miles away from us. I started recording 2023 flowers and have recording the following so far:

  • February 13 – Crocus
  • February 13 – Creeping Speedwell
  • February 13 – Witch Hazel
  • February 15 – Daffodil
  • February 17 – Grape Hyacinth
  • February 17 – Candytuft

You can see the full details in the file. I will try to keep collecting dates and update the file throughout the year.

The first Creeping Speedwell (Veronica fillformis) flower in our lawn of 2023, seen on February 13 after watching the bees fly. Last year, in 2022, I didn’t see Creeping Speedwell until February 21.

May you prosper and find honey.

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