Thursday, 14 August 2014

Poppy Appreciation

My honey bees are a bit like spoiled cats. Sometimes food they previously went crazy for are now met with 'ho-hum' instead of 'buzz-buzz'.

At a shopping centre recently, I saw honey bees mobbing Russian Sage. So, I bought a pot of it in bloom and waited for my little ladies to dig in. But no-o-o-o, they mostly snubbed it in favour of other blossoms like borage and white clover. A few years back my honey bees raved over my licorice mint. So I planted hedges of it. This year they are ignoring that and storming the globe thistles. And so, my learned beekeeper cousin, Peter, is again proved right in his prediction that whatever nectar has the highest sugar ratio will win the day.

One thing is consistent though. My bees always, without fail, love to gather the pollen from poppies. Even on windy days when the blooms are hard to land on, they stick with the tricky landing flights and slippery petals to gather the pollen. Then they frolic and roll about the anthers with abandon. (I get the same, but thankfully suppressed, urge when I encounter the intoxicating scent of fresh cilantro in a grocery store produce department.)

Two little ladies gathering poppy pollen.

Hovering in for a landing.

My garden's poppy isle.

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