Holly Blooms

We are still in the thick of our nectar season. This week we’ve had holly blooming. Holly is a great pollinator plant, with small white flowers that are very attractive to all kinds of bees. There are varieties that bloom in early spring and late summer, so they provide a long season of nectar. In the winter, the pollinated flowers become berries that birds and other animals enjoy.

Some varieties have a male and female version. Both produce flowers, but the male plants produce pollen and relies on pollinators (like bees!) to pollinate the female flowers. We have a bit of both kinds on our property.

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Marking Queens

I’ve been marking queens recently, both for my own benefit and for some nucs I am selling. Marking the queen is not strictly necessary, though it does make it easier to find her amongst a crowd of bees. I do not consider myself very good at it, so have come up with my own technique once I find her majesty on the comb.

This year I have really struggled to find my queens, I’m not sure why. Normally my queens are a bit more distinctive in terms of color or other trait. This year their coloring seems to be similar to the workers, so perhaps that is in.

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