Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Mysterious Hawthorn
One of the best things you can do for honeybees and native bees is to plant trees. Now that the herbaceous bee plants are winding down, I'm focusing my attention on trees. I've come up against a mystery: the hawthorn. It is listed as a honey plant, if somewhat unreliable--really dependent on the weather. However, some hawthorn, such as our native black hawthorn are described as having blossoms with a fishy smell which attract pollinating midges. (Midge--such an ambiguous term, it irks me.) Sometimes the blossoms are described as smelling sweet, and other times like rotting flesh. I'm assuming these are different varieties, but could they be characteristic of hawthorns in general--ie stinky in bad weather for carrion beetles and midges but sweet in sunny weather for bees? Anyone out there have any ideas?
In the the meantime I am taking pictures of our wonderful and glorious autumn trees.
I know some beekeepers are seeing bees in Japanese anenomes, but I have never seen it happen.
Oddly enough, I did see honeybees in the Aconitum at VanDusen yesterday.
Finally, I had a thrill today when the hummingbird who has claimed our garden visited hummingbird sage, cleome, and the big rhodo that's blooming again. And we have a strange bird visiting us that makes a sound like a policeman's whistle. What could that be? The hummer didn't like it, swooping down from a great height and diving at the tree.