Thursday, March 12, 2009

Plums in Bloom

There is a close connection between the honey bees and the flowering plants that they visit. The bees are attracted to the flowers by their color, shape, floral pattern, and aroma. From the flowers, bees derive their food in the form of nectar and pollen. While visiting the flowers, the bees inadvertently carry pollen from one part of the flower to another accomplishing cross-pollination, a necessary step in the plant’s reproduction. There is also a close connection between beekeepers and the plants that feed their bees. Beekeepers are always on the look-out for the particular flowers that are attracting the bees on any given day.

In the late days of winter, the first white-blooming tree to be seen in the Mid-South is the plum. The blossoms shine through the bare forest margins as we drive through the country. Plum thickets often remain as reminders of long-abandoned home sites. On a warm late winter day, plum trees will attract large numbers of honey bees.

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