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American Linden ( Tila americana ) aka, basswood or "the bee-tree" is in full bloom. The regularity of this celebrated bloom is uncertain because a cold spring day can kill early buds, and a year, or even two, can pass without flowers. I've also seen only the south side of the trees in bloom, indicating that a warm spring sun salvaged the frost-laden tree from total bloom failure.

But not this year because, like every bloom on almost all flowering plants that I've observed so far, this year's bloom is spectacular. Each flower can produce enough nectar to send a foraging honeybee back to the colony with a full honey stomach, and there are thousands and thousands of small tulip-shaped flowers making nectar on each tree.

I encourage you to go out and find one in your area, and on a sunny day, visit this magnificent tree. You will likely hear the buzzing on your approach because every bee in the area will be there collecting nectar. Aphids also visit the tree and produce a sweet sticky substance called honeydew which honeybees collect and store in the hive.

You can also consume the tree in the form of linden flower tea and get a taste of what a honeybee might experience.

Enjoy your bees.

Bill Hesbach