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Everything connected to growing blueberries

Archive for April, 2009

Videos of Mason bees and Bumblebees

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 30, 2009

The nests in this video look similar to the variable sized nests we use made of bamboo. It’s hard to identify the materials used in these  nests.

Another video:

In this video of a bumblebee nest notice the queen appear on the right. She appears to be laying an egg. Right now queen bumblebees are pollinating our earliest blueberry blossoms but it is the young worker bumblebees that we really rely on to pollinate later varieties.

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Belly fat and blueberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 20, 2009

Recent research indicates that blueberries work to reduce the worst kind of fat – belly fat.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say blueberries may melt belly fat regardless of your diet.  The study, released Sunday at the Experimental Biology convention in New Orleans, found that rats fed freeze dried, crushed blueberries for 90 days ended up with less belly fat, lower cholesterol and better blood sugar levels.  The rats did even better if they were also fed low fat diets.  

Scientists say even the rats that stayed on high fat diets showed significant improvement on the blueberry powder.

Researchers say reduced abdominal fat may lead to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Source:–Blueberries-May-Help-Cut-Belly-Fat/4228317


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Late pusseywillow

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 16, 2009

The early pusseywillow passed the pollen stage a week or so ago. This later pusseywillow comes at a time when the bees need lots of pollen for expanding brood. We have gathered cuttings from the far side of the farm to establish more plants nearer the bees. Put in a pail of water they will soon establish roots. This variety has loads of pollen.


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Greenhouse and bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 16, 2009

The plants in the greenhouse attract honeybees, bumblebees and mason bees. At this point in the season there is little available for the bees. Blossoms have just appeared on an ornamental plum, cherry plums and maples. The greenhouse could be more bee friendly if we propagated more earlier varieties of rhododendron like the Abigail and Cheer shown in the picture.


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Anise hyssop – Spring 2009

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 13, 2009

Anise hyssop seeds collected from last year were planted in early March. By now the roots are several inches long. In a few weeks the plants will be seperated and moved to larger pots. Plants started this year will blossom in July and provide forage for the bees right through the fall.

month old hyssop

month old hyssop

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Hummingbirds arrive late

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 11, 2009

The hummingbirds have finally arrived in April. This is testament to a very late Spring. With an early Spring they have been known to arrive in February. Most years we discover their tiny nests and enjoy watching the young develop.

baby Hummingbirds

baby Hummingbirds

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Emerging Mason bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 6, 2009

When you are near the Mason bee cocoons you can hear the chewing sound of the bees trying to escape. This new arrival took a short time to catch his breath and then he was ready to fly

Hello world...I've arrived

Hello world...I've arrived

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First Mason bees emerge

Posted by blueberrytalk on April 5, 2009

It’s the latest spring in our memory. Yesterday the meteorologist on TV said it was the first time in a month and a half that the forecast high came up to the normal temperature for any given day. A couple of days ago the first dandelions opened up. With a warm 20C the first male Mason bees cut through their cocoons. Notice the long antennae and white hair tuft of the male Mason bee.

Mason bee male

Mason bee male

Mason bee

Mason bee

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