Blueberrytalk's Weblog

Everything connected to growing blueberries

Early Heptacodium blossoms.

Posted by blueberrytalk on August 12, 2018

2018 heptacodium


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Mason bee in a Draper blossom

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 19, 2018

mason bee in Draper

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Storing Mason bee cocoons

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 16, 2018


A moist rag is used to raise the humidity above the normal fridge humidity. The reading on the humidity meter is too high so this rag should be replaced with a rag that is only partly moistened. The target humidity is 75%. The seal on the large container is good enough to maintain the same atmosphere for a length of time.

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Pollen from red cedars

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 11, 2018

Apis mellifera procuring pollen from thuja plicata.
After a long winter holed up in their hive, it’s nice to see the bees get out on a sunny day and gather food for their brood. I can’t imagine their emotional response, but it makes me happy.

cedar pollen

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Hardy Hummingbirds

Posted by blueberrytalk on February 24, 2018

This is the second winter we have enjoyed the company of several different hummingbirds.

IMG_6606 (2)

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The foraging habits of honeybees

Posted by blueberrytalk on December 3, 2017

When we heard that Black Locust honey was highly prized we planted Black Locust trees. The trees grew very tall and sent out suckers everywhere! I can’t recall over the years seeing honeybees foraging on Black Locust blossoms. A few bumblebees stopped by. Somewhere in the eastern US or Europe where there is a Black Locust forest and there are no other foraging choices honeybees will make Black Locust honey.

A frequent winner of honey tasting contests is sourwood honey. We planted some sourwood trees with high expectations. Over the years they have proved very popular with bumblebees. Honeybee visits are rare. Oh well, it’s there if they want it!

We happened upon the Heptacodium tree (or shrub). It blossoms for an entire month at the end of the season. It is loved by honeybees and bumblebees for both nectar and pollen. We have no idea as to what kind of honey is produced.

Honeybees will visit blueberry blossoms if it is their only choice! Once the blackberry blossoms open the honeybees will choose blackberry blossoms. I asked an old time beekeeper what the honeybees will do given a choice between blueberry blossoms and blackberry blossoms. He just laughed and said: ”blackberry!”  Late flowering blueberry varieties are hard to pollinate once the blackberry blossoms open. This is where Mason bees and worker bumblebees can be a big help!

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Late flowering trees

Posted by blueberrytalk on September 29, 2017

Heptacodium {seven sons) provides nectar and pollen all through September. It is very popular with all the bees.heptacodium

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Early Elliott bloom

Posted by blueberrytalk on May 19, 2017

Elliott, a late variety, is blooming alongside the early varieties. The early varieties are blooming almost a month later than usual.


bee in elliott

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Pussywillow pollen

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 23, 2017


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Posted by blueberrytalk on January 4, 2017

In 2016 the flower buds on the Rhododendrons exceeded anything we had ever seen!

We used our camera to record this exceptional year.

Then we added music by Suzy Haynes.




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