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Everything connected to growing blueberries

Archive for March, 2010

Late pussywillow

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 31, 2010

A couple of wild bees have joined the honeybees on the late pussywillow. Pussywillow are known for their abundant pollen.

wild bees on pussywillow

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Mason bees are out and about

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 31, 2010

Mason bee on Dandelion

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Blooming Maples

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 31, 2010

The maples have taken over from the plums as a foraging source the bees. Many insect pollinators can be seen these days on the maple blossoms.

   

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Preparing Mason bee nests

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 31, 2010

The parchment paper liners sticking out the back of the nest will be folded over and a piece of wood screwed on the back. We will have three kinds of nests this year to check for bee preference and which is easiest to use.

              

We made a mistake with our nest location. A strong wind drove rain into the nest causing the parchment paper to wrinkle. We had to reline but this time we used kraft paper (parcel paper). Reports from the internet said that kraft paper works better. For sure this kind of nest needs to be in a very protected location.

wrinkled nest liner

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Birch pollen

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 30, 2010

The airborne birch pollen means wheezing and itchy eyes for humans but birch pollen guarantees an abundant supply of pollen for the honeybees and Mason bees.

Birch catkins and pollen

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Bright yellow pollen of the PJM rhododendron

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 27, 2010

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Mason bees begin foraging

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 27, 2010

Enlarge by clicking on the pictures to enjoy the beauty the Mason bee. Female on the left. Male on the right.

Mason bee

 

Bob's Blue rhododendron

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Sources of pollen

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 25, 2010

With the variety of pollen brought in by the bees we began to suspect some came from Rose’s varied and extensive garden. According to Google Earth ruler the garden is 1 Km. away. Dan headed out on a photo expedition.

Our apiary to Rose's garden

Pictures from Rose’s garden.

Osmanthus

Star Magnolia

Marsh Marigold

boxwood

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Bamboo nests for Mason bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 24, 2010

On the left bamboo nests are set out in a row of Bluecrop blueberry plants to give a boost to this hard to pollinate variety. On the right bamboo nests are set out beside barn rafters. The plastic markers stapled to the wall are like house addresses for the bees.

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Mason bees emerge early in 2010

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 24, 2010

Mason bees have been emerging gradually for about a week now but with a warm day today (approaching 20c-70f) many more bees have chewed through their cocoons. The nest block below was left out over the winter. The circled holes were pre-existent.

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