Monday, April 19, 2010

The workhorses of the blueberry farm

Our farm employs thousands of these little guys.  THEY are the reason there will be berries to pick in the summer.  Pruning is important  but pollinating is essential.  Without honeybees pollinating the bushes there wouldn't be luscious berries to enjoy.  In fact, one third of our diet comes from insect pollinated plants and honeybees are responsible for 80% of that pollination according to the USDA.

Today I spent some time in the field watching the bees at work.  Not only do they pollinate the flowers that will give us blueberries, they also gather nectar from the flowers and make honey! 

A walk down the rows at this time of year is a very sensory-filled experience.  You can hear the buzzing all around you, watch the bees, and smell the fragrance of the flowers.   All the bees buzzing and flying around you would be a little unsettling if you didn't know that the bees were in a friendly mood.  Working from flower to flower in the warm sunshine puts the them in a good mood.   Combine flowers, sun, and warmth and you have all the ingredients to make happy bees.  On cloudy, cold days with no flowers they are usually grumpy and unfriendly.

Bumble bees like the blueberry flowers too!

So, when you are picking all those plump, juicy berries this summer remember who did the work to help make them.
The humble honey bee!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April Flowers

My favorite time of year is spring.  Everything is fresh and new.  Greens are the most vibrant at this time of year.  And the outburst of flowers sends intoxicating waves of fragrance through the air.  April is flowering time for blueberry plants.  A freeze at this time of year will put an end to the blueberry crop as we all found out a few years ago!

But things are looking pretty good this year!

Just think......every flower represents one blueberry!  I wonder if that's where the term "Flower Power" came from?  Remember that from the '60's??  Anyone?