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Archive for the ‘Blackberries’ Category

Honeybees favor blackberry blossoms

Posted by blueberrytalk on October 25, 2016

Honeybees forage in the blueberries until the blackberry blossoms open. In the picture below the honey on the left is blueberry blossom honey. It crystalizes very quickly into crystals that are so fine that it is like creamed honey. We like to take it off as soon as it is produced so that it doesn’t blend with the next honey which is blackberry honey.


The first blackberry blossoms appear well before the blueberry blossoms are over. The picture below was taken May 22. Draper blueberries are in bloom at this time and the Drapers begin to experience the migration of honeybee attention from blueberry blossoms to blackberry blossoms. We see few honeybees working in a late variety like Elliott.

The first blackberry variety sets out blossoms in a compressed period of time. You can see in the picture below that the second blossoms follow right on the heels of the first. It’s all over in a couple of weeks. The bees go right to it when it appears.


This leads right into the well known Himalayan blackberry which blossoms gradually over the next couple of months. You can see the lineup of buds in the picture below.


What can a grower do to help the pollination of late varieties? As the season progresses the wild bumblebee population explodes. We rely on worker bumblebees to pollinate the Elliott blossoms. Bumblebee populations can be increased by taking care of the environment they live in. But that’s another story!

Growers can also rely on Mason bees whose lifespan extends past the late blueberry varieties.

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A sea of blackberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 25, 2012

The blackberries will supply weeks of pollen and quality nectar for the bees.

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Two honeybee favorites

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 26, 2011

Fireweed and Blackberry provide nectar for the bees for several weeks in the summer. The bees have a strong preference for these plants. Meanwhile clover is relatively ignored.

Fireweed & Blackberry

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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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Blackberry blossoms keep blooming

Posted by blueberrytalk on July 11, 2009

Almost a month ago we posted on blackberry blossoms and a month from now it would be no surprise to find more blackberry blossoms. In the picture below you can see well formed fruit, blossoms and blossom buds. Ever popular with bees, there are four bees in the same camera shot.

bees and blackberry blossoms

bees and blackberry blossoms

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A great source of pollen – blackberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 15, 2009

The bee in this picture is loaded with blackberry pollen. Blueberries, in contrast, produce much less pollen.

loaded with pollen

loaded with pollen

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First Blackberry blossoms

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 15, 2009

Blackberries are widely available in the area. They are sought out by bumblebees and honeybees. The blossoms open gradually so foraging can extend over quite a time. A check in a couple of weeks should give us an idea of the duration of blossoming.

blackberry blossom

blackberry blossom

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Thornless blackberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 1, 2009

Blossoms on the thornless blackberries follow the blueberry pollination. The honeybees are enthusiastic for this plant which is prevalent in this area. Bumblebees show no interest.

Thornless blackberry blossoms

Thornless blackberry blossoms

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The last of the blackberry blossoms

Posted by blueberrytalk on August 10, 2008

In the first picture there is a Carniolan honeybee in a blackberry blossom. Compare that with the light coloured Italian honeybee in the second photo. Thanks to our expert photographer, in a rare shot we have the two bee strains side by side on the same blackberry blossom.


Carniolan honeybee

Carniolan honeybee

italian honeybee

italian honeybee

bee friends

bee friends

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Himalayan blackberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on June 29, 2008

In southern British Columbia, as elsewhere, roadsides are often covered with blackberries that have just come into bloom. This provides an excellent foraging opportunity for bees. The most common blackberry has a large oval leaf and it’s fruit is large and sweet. The berries make excellent jelly.

blackberry in bloom   roadside blackberry

Around the farm perimeter there is another blackberry with a quite different leaf whose fruit is not so large or flavourful.

    blackberry….click to enlarge.

The blackberries come at a time when the black locust are still in blossom, there is a abundance of clover and there are still some blueberries in blossom. It’s honey flow time!

Try this link:Blackberry Honey, the premier nectar!

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