Narcissus and bees

Jane McGary
Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:56:16 PDT
I have often thought the most important bulbs for bees are Crocus, 
because many of the species flower so early in the year when few or 
no other nectar-bearing flowers are available for honeybees. I was 
always amazed, when living out in the Cascade foothills, to see my 
crocuses humming with honeybees at a time when there were probably no 
other flowers in bloom for miles. As far as I know, the nearest 
beekeeper was about a mile away, but there may have been wild hives 
in the forest. Sometimes almost every crocus blossom would have a bee 
in it. Crocuses are mostly honey-scented, which must attract bees 
strongly. This would also apply to Galanthus.

I don't recall seeing bees at the Narcissus, but they must have been, 
because even the earliest ones set seed, and there were some apparent 
hybrids that popped up between the pots.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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