Throughout this year I have been planting different plants and trees in order to do my bit and prevent wild bees from disappearing from the land. I know this is not much, but these flowers will give a lot of food to the bees and produce delicious raw honey. Flowers for honey production, by which I mean honeys that produce nectar or pollen, and that feed the bees and so I do my bit to save them.
Many of the plants that you can grow in your garden are precious and medicinal: thyme, rosemary, lavender, heather, eucalyptus, you can use them in your kitchen, you will give food to the bees and they will elaborate delicious honeys; rosemary honey, thyme honey... delicacies for them and for us.
A contributio to save the bees; plant the flowers for honey production
Another thing I did this year was not to fumigate the trees in the spring, as many of the insecticides and fungicides we use in our gardens are killing the insects that are so beneficial. If we plant flowers for honey production, and then fumigate them, what we’re doing is poisoning the bees.
This Easter of 2017 I was taking out my camera again and I dedicated another afternoon to two of my hobbies, contact with nature and photography. I will now show you a selection of the photos I took during these days.
In the photo below we can see the flower of a rockrose and a bee on its petals. The flowers of the rockrose are beautiful and have the peculiarity that they bloom quickly and in a couple of days at the most, their petals disappear. The flowers of the rockrose provide abundant pollen to the bees, but they have no nectar, so no rockrose honey is produced.
Photo 1: Flower of a rockrose with a bee resting on it
One of the flowers with the most powerful and relaxing scent I know, lavender, or rather lavender because it is wild.
Lavender blooms at this time of year, when spring settles in and has a melliferous flower, which provides abundant nectar from which the bees make the much-loved lavender honey.
In this picture below you can see a bee flying, which is headed to pollinate the lavender flowers.
Photo 2: Bee heading for lavender flowers
Also at this time the holm oaks bloom and have their first shoots. The holm oak is pollinated by the wind, the bees do nothing to pollinate it.
The bees get their food from the holm oaks and produce their honey from the holm oaks, which is so rich in minerals, through small drops that the holm oaks release and the bees collect.
Photo 3: Holm oak in bloom and growing
These little flowers that we see below are not from a plant that I don’t know what it’s called, but that is frequently grown in gardens and in these times is filled with flowers. It must also be melliferous, because you could hear a bee passing from flower to flower.
Flower 4: Garden flowers
Next we show the poppy, a flower that made me very happy to see it. The poppy was a flower that covered all the Mediterranean and continental fields, but with the overuse of herbicides they have been disappearing and becoming less and less visible. For this reason, I was very happy to find her again in my garden.
The poppy does not produce nectar, so bees do not produce honey with it, but it produces a very complete pollen from the nutritional point of view that helps to strengthen the bee’s immune system.
Flower 5: Poppy flower
At the beginning of the year I planted marigolds, which you can see in the picture below. I have planted these for ornamental purposes, although I don’t know if they will help the bees much.
Pic6: Marigold flowers
Another of the precious flowers, despite being small, is the orange blossom with which bees make one of the richest and sweetest raw honeys of all, orange blossom honey. This flower is very melliferous and is therefore highly valued by bees.
These orange trees are in Madrid, a place with a very cold climate so that the orange trees can survive the winter. I have the orange trees planted in big pots, so that in winter you can put them in the house and protect them against the eladas.
What I like most about orange blossom is its pure white colour. Another of the delights of enjoying this flower is its aroma
Photo 7: Orange blossom
In Las Rozas de Madrid we are lucky enough to enjoy the many natural areas covered with holm oaks, rockrose and lavender. These Easter days I had the opportunity to stroll around them and meet lavender very often, among many of them, I photographed this one.
Photo 8: Lavender in an oak grove, one of the best flowers for honey production and save the bees
Another flower that is beautiful and that I saw some bee posing on it, is the quince flower.
Photo 9: Quince flower
Finally the purple lilies I grew. Beautiful purple flowers that I don’t think are melliferous.
Photo 11: Purple lily flowers
Let us all encourage the planting of these flowers for honey production, and thus help save the bees who are on their way to extinction.