History of Bees
We are in the dog days of summer and many summer flowers are the stopping off place for many insects that also enjoy the summer flowers. Bees are looking for pollen and nectar that help maintain and build their hives over the winter. Honeybees are one of the first animals that were domesticated by man. Honey and beeswax have long been a sought after products by man. These little workhorses are good at turning pollen and nectar into a food fit for Kings and the wax was used for many things. It does not go bad without refrigeration and stays good for some time. It was also fermented to make mead a drink talked about in ancient times used by Vikings and Roman Gods. The wax used as a preservative and a source for light.
The honeybee is not native to North America and was brought to the colonies along with other English livestock to help settle the United States. They were difficult to bring over onboard ships but once here they established and were foraging ahead of the colonization of America. As agriculture grew and we moved west honeybees went also giving homesteaders food and sugar to use to survive the stark and bleak farm homesteads.
There is a law of supply and demand that at about a radius of 4 miles is what a bee can travel and bring pollen back to hive. The forage out in this radius and bring back the best pollen and nectar that can be gotten in the shortest time but the easiest to harvest. If you live on the outer region of this radius bees may be at your flowers one day and somewhere else the next. It is wise to grow several types of flowers that bloom at different times ensuring a constant supply of pollen and nectar.
Honey bees are under attack for many reasons, but planting many types of flowers where they can get pollen and nectar to make honey and beeswax to live through the winter will help. The horticultural crops that they pollinate in spring and early summer have long gone and now they need more summer and fall flowers a must to sustain their health and the health of the hive.
©Ken Wilson & Gardening Whisperer 2015
This entry was posted in Horticulture Tips, Insects and tagged Honey, Horticulture tips, Native, Pollen on September 12, 2015, by Ken Wilson. Edit
Full Moons of July
Full Buck Moon and Blue Moon
We just finished the wettest month (June) ever in St. Louis. Going into June we were behind the yearly average by 1.59 inches. June’s has an average rainfall of 3.83 inches; we received 10.51 inches thus we are ahead of the year by 5.09 inches. The forecast for July is hot, hot, and hot so this may dry us out; I hope. The normal rainfall for July is 3.9 inches and the total for the year is 39.79 leaving us with only more 15 inches left for a normal year.
July has two full moons; One, July 1 which is called the Full Buck Moon and the other on July 31 is called the Blue Moon. Read why it called the dog days of summer and what is behind the names of the full moons on The Farmer’s Almanac; http://farmersalmanac.com/astronomy/2013/07/15/julys-full-buck-moon/
Bee and Misquotes
Other tidbits the Japanese Beetles are back and misquotes if they are not here they coming. (See picture) I hope we can see the full moon tonight instead of rain clouds. Hoping to see monarchs any day they were here several years ago and have not come to my garden since, but that is part of gardening; Hope.
Book Review “Coffee For Roses by C.L. Fornari
Coffee for Roses
…and 70 other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening
By C.L. Fornari
Coffee for Roses, …and 70 other Misleading Myths About Backyard Gardening, by C. L. Fornari, St. Lyons press, Pittsburg 2014: 146 pages. Reviewed by Kenneth Wilson “The Gardening Whisperer”.
This review is prepared to be on www.Gadeneningwhisperer.com C.L. Fornari is a writer, speaker, radio show host, and an avid plant person and blogger. She has written and talked about myths within the gardening and horticulture lore. Many of these myths have been passed along for a number of years. As see on pg. 88 “News Paper in 1913, Reports that Department of Agriculture’s bureau of soils was evaluating the loggerhead sponge for use as fertilizer”.
As Fornari takes seventy (70) myths or sayings that have been entrenched the gardener’s bag of tricks she explores with modern logic and science on these myths to see their accuracy. Many of these have been handed down since the 1890s. Fornari has taken documentation from newspapers and books example pg. 25 a quote by “Samuel Parsons. Jr., 1895” on using space for growing vegetables in flower gardens to show how far back these myths have been in trenched in gardening.