To our surprise the basil has become quite popular in these last few days even though most of its flowers are spent. There are usually at least half a dozen honeybees busily working the half a dozen plants at any given time. The pollen is almost white, as can be seen on this forager’s legs.

And now that the goldenrod has begun to live up to its name by turning bright yellow, the bees have begun to show a little interest and the hives have acquired a hint of old gym sock smell indicating that at least some goldenrod nectar has been collected. Whether we will have a major stock-up-for-winter nectar flow is yet to be seen. As this Bee Culture article from last year states, without adequate midsummer rains the plants do not sufficiently develop nectaries and, while just as brightly colored as ever, will not provide much nectar. And this summer has been worryingly dry.

Meanwhile our cup plants, until recently the local favorite, continue to attract bees although their popularity seems to be waning a bit as they are finishing blooming in spite of still having yellow petals. They have a composite flower and the central disc is made up of a great many smaller flowers, which take turns, a ring at a time, to rise above the level of the disc and bloom. Whether the rings progress from the center outwards or from the rim inwards we did not learn. Next year we shall have to observe more closely and take more pictures. They are a source of nectar and bright orange pollen, even though you can not tell from this image.

Advertisements