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Everything connected to growing blueberries

Archive for June, 2010

Lavender honey

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 24, 2010

The Alii Kula lavender farm on Maui sells lavender honey so we bought a sample. As a bonus we watched a Jackson’s Chameleon travel along a strand of barbed wire.

In 1972, the Jackson’s Chameleon (Chamaeloeo jacksonii) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from its native land of Kenya and Tanzania. In the last 30 + years, these species have multiplied and formed a large breeding population on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. .. Their abundance may be underestimated based on the fact that these chameleon’s are difficult to see unless you happen to look right at one. Source:http://www.explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/BiodiversityForgotten/Wildlife/Reptiles/Lizards%20-%20Chameleons.htm

jackson's Chameleon

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Christmas Berry honey

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 22, 2010

Christmas Berry honey is not as mild as the Hawaiian Lehue honey but it is more subdued than some of the stronger honey varieties produced in Hawaii.

Christmas Berry Honey is gathered by bees from the Christmas berry shrub (Schinus terebinthifolia), a native of Brazil introduced to Hawaii. Its bold taste, with hints of brown sugar and molasses, is characteristic of this robust honey. It is also one of the richest in

antioxidants.
These protective compounds are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Study on antioxidant content of honeys conducted at the University of Illinois, Urbana and published in the Journal of Apicultural Research 37(1): 27-31 (1998) confirms Hawaiian Christmas berry honey to be one of the richest in antioxidants of all North American honeys.

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Blackberry Bloom

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 19, 2010

The blackberries provide a long term supply of nectar and pollen.

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Black locust at it’s best.

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 7, 2010

It is peak foraging for bees in the Black locust blossoms. This tree is available to the bees for only a short time.

Black locust blossoms

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Climbing hydrangea

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 7, 2010

Climbing hydrangea is a favorite bee source of pollen. There is a faint pinkish blush on this light colored pollen.

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Bees captivated by a field of Viburnum

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 5, 2010

Thousands of bees have gathered to collect pollen from a field of Viburnum. Hopefully the bees efforts will produce attractive red berries that will show well at the flower auction. David and Stephanie,in the picture below, give some scale to the size of this field.

On the left a bee gathers pollen from a Viburnum. On the right a bee arrives at our Apiary with a similar pollen load. We are just less than a kilometre away.

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Huge bumblebee population

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 3, 2010

As the blueberry pollination winds down the bumblebee population is rapidly expanding. Thornless blackberries normally attract only honeybees but this year the bumblebees have joined in. A yellow-faced worker bumblebee is pictured below. 

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Cascara in bloom

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 3, 2010

Cascara is a shrub like tree that grows naturally in the area. It is best known for the laxative that comes from its bark. It has a reputation as a good source of nectar that produces amber-colored honey from the tiny yellow flowers. The distinctive veins on the leaves make it easy to identify.

cascara blossoms

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Hummingbirds and Black Locust

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 3, 2010

The hummingbird feeder had to be refilled every day with six hummingbirds squabbling over a perch. The demand at the feeder dropped off suddenly. Then we noticed the hummingbirds feeding from the Black locust flowers. There are two large Black locusts within fifty feet of the humming bird feeder. Another hummingbird favorite, honeysuckle, will be available soon.

Black Locust

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