Bringin' on the Heat
Needless to say, this nuc is bearding today. My weather station says 95℉ with a dew point of 74. That's pushing the heat index to near 100℉. My guess is that almost every bee is out of the box and, you can see, the beard is just inches from the ground. The bees will beard most of the night, and maybe they'll catch a glimpse of comet Neowise.
With tattered wings and many miles behind her, this old forager is still going strong. Buttonbush is all around my apiary and in July helps provide a source of nectar and sometimes pollen. The globe of bloom is magnificent to behold and attracts many pollinators. Look for this in your area along rivers and in wetlands. The bloom holds for about a week and fades fast.
This year, in my area, bees are working Virginia Creeper. It grows everywhere, even places you would rather not have it. The old childhood rhyme, "Leaves of three, let it be; Leaves of five, let it thrive" helps ID this plant and distinguish it from poison ivy. I've heard that beekeepers in areas of our state can get a significant nectar flow from this July bloom. Look for it on telephone poles and tree trunks.
Bird's-foot Trefoil is a beautiful wildflower that I see every year but have never seen my bees work until this year. There's plenty around but I can't imagine they offer much. There's lots of dark Victorian lore around this little beauty but the bees don't seem to mind.
Follow the blue links for more information on this small sample of July blooms.
Take care of your bees