Sunday, April 27, 2008

More pollen and nectar for the bumble bee Queen

The flowers on the Nanking cherry are gone so the Queen must look elsewhere for sustenance. In our garden Virginia Bluebells/mertensia are begining to bloom. Perfect shape and good color. Bumbles should like them.

The Illinois wildflower site says ...
The flowers are pollinated by long-tongued bees primarily, including honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorid bees, Mason bees, large Leaf-Cutting bees, and Miner bees; these insects seek nectar and collect pollen. Other visitors of the flowers include hummingbirds, bee flies, butterflies, skippers, and Sphinx moths, including hummingbird moths.

Also opening are buds on the young Eastern Redbud . We picked this tree because there is a line of them growing along property of a school nearby that are quite old so we know they will do well here. The nectar and pollen will help the Queen bumble bee store food to feed larvae hatching from her eggs until they mature into worker bees that will take over foraging and feeding duties.

Soon aquilegia/columbine will follow, as will the flowers on Phlox subulata growing in the Hobbit garden.

I'll be watching to see where she lands next.


Anonymous mon@rch said...

Very cool flowers!

3/5/08 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Jeff in Portland, OR said...

I am seriously in love with the red buds. We've got the wester rb native here in OR. We just purchased our first two little shrubs and I can't wait for them to grow up big and showy. Thanks for sharing your photos!

16/5/08 7:07 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Hi there Monarch...

Jeff,it took three years for my little redbud to bloom and another year to bloom more fully.But the heart shaped leaves are pretty right from the start.It is still a young tree. The native leaf cutter bees like to cut little circles from the leaves letting me know they are back each year.Not enough damage to bother the leaves at all.
A hawthorn planted the same year still has not bloomed but I moved it once and set it back I think.

16/5/08 11:21 PM  

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