I noticed my bees collecting a light-coloured pollen from a flowering tree today that I’ve never noticed before. Here’s a cellphone shot:
The flowers are not juicy and wet like fruit flowers full of nectar. They’re dry and crumbly and the pollen easily floats away like dust with the slightest disturbance, very much like Sorrel pollen.
Anyone who lives in Newfoundland has probably seen this tree many times growing in the ditches by the side of the road. But I don’t know what it is.
I tried to take photos of the bees on the flower but couldn’t manage it easily with my cellphone. This is as good as it gets:
UPDATE (the next day): It’s an Alder Bush. Judging from the shrivelled appearance of the flower, I’d say it’s only a pollen source for the bees, not nectar, but it’s all good. Another early spring pollen source doesn’t hurt and Alder Bushes are plentiful in a place like Newfoundland.
Alder bushes are packed with #pollen that gives honey #bees and native pollinators a boost in the spring. It's the driest, dustiest pollen I've ever seen, but it's something. #beekeeping pic.twitter.com/jPIrh8eGMT
— Mud Songs (@MudSongs) June 15, 2019
Maybe yellow birch? Pictures look similar. I think the flower is actually called a catkin.
This just in: It’s an Alder Bush.
Maples in Pippy Park are also in bloom, if the weather clears up there is currently tons of forage out there for the bee’s. I had read that alders can be a significant source of forage for bee’s in certain areas. Believe it was during one of Palmer’s presentations.
I have a series of photos and videos that show the similarities between alderbush pollen and birch tree pollen. They’re all apart of the Betulaceae family of trees and have similar flowers.
I’ll post the photos and videos — along with a tonne of other stuff I’ve been sitting on — as soon as I’m done rewriting and fixing everything on this blog, sometime in 2019.