Thinking Ahead Spring Planting

Sunflowers are among my favorite Summer flowers. Sunflowers start gracing our landscapes with their cheerful flower heads mid to late Summer. If you like to plant them here are the types that are the best for honey bees and other pollinators. The reason these are preferred is because they produce pollen the honey bees can use. Some varieties are pollen-less.

Lemon Queen, Mammoth Grey Stripe, Black Russian, Autumn Beauty to name a few. Look at the labeling on seed packets or description on line for “pollinator or bee friendly”.

Come On Spring!

Whew, we have had some cold weather this Winter. Single digits along with a few below zero temps. On each occasional warm day (42-48F) I take a peek under the top cover to check on the clusters and stores. I have replenished the fondant and will again at the next opportunity.

Late on a warm February afternoon

However we are beginning to experience the transition from Winter to the beginnings of Spring. Three days ago it was 63F and the bees took full advantage finding sweet sources from the start of the maple sap run and the ever so small snowdrops.

Maple sap oozing out of a scar
Tiny snowdrops offering up nectar and pollen

The GDD (Growing Degree Days) climbed to 15 with this warm day earlier in the week but is now 27 reflecting the slow but steady warming.