Bees in the Trees

Winter honeybee investigating a witch hazel infloresence

Winter honeybee investigating a witch hazel inflorescence

After a week of gale winds and sideways rain, this morning was still, 50 F, and sunny.  So the bees came out.  I was anxious for the weather to calm down because the witch hazel has entered its first bloom since we got the bees (April 2013).


Giant witch hazel shrub at our hive site

The witch hazel tree,  technically a shrub, rises 15 feet directly behind and above the hives.  Its brilliant yellow blossoms are incredibly fragrant, but I see only anecdotal evidence on the interwebs describing honeybees as a pollinator.  If our honeybees like the witch hazel, it will make an awesome source of food and pollen in this season relatively barren of bee food.


Carniolan honeybees out for a sunny winter morning excursion

What are your winter bees eating?

This entry was posted in bees, honeybees, winter, witch hazel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bees in the Trees

  1. solarbeez says:

    Is the pollen yellow too? My bees are bringing in some yellow pollen. The willows aren’t in bloom yet, so I don’t know what it is. I’d like it if there was a witch hazel tree somewhere.

    • jkmcintyre says:

      If the bees come out again today, I plan to observe them for a while and see if I can tell if they are collecting pollen from the witch hazel. A couple of weeks ago the bees were out and were indeed returning to the hive with bright yellow pollen – but from where??

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