Honey Bee Friendly Flower: Wild Roses

I can now add wild roses to my casual list of honey bee friendly flowers in Newfoundland.



I spotted these honey bees inside the flower of what I assume is a wild rose while out for a hike around Flatrock yesterday.

Two honey bees in a wild rose flower. (October 12th, 2019, Flatrock, NL.)

I’m way out of the flower-identification world, which I know is sacrilegious in some beekeeping circles, but I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. That’s why is okay for me to take a guess that the flowers I saw these honey bees in yesterday might be wild roses or dog rose, Rosa Canina, and if I’m wrong, I can come back and fix it later. But I’m pretty sure it’s rosa canina. (Click the images for more detailed views.)

    UPDATE (a few hours later): “Pretty sure” just doesn’t cut it. I was wrong, according to those who know better and are kind enough to leave this comment on Facebook:

    “This is a white form of Rosa rugosa, the rugose or rugosa rose. It has pink and white, as well as multipetal cultivars. Rosa canina does not have wrinkled leaves (as shown in your pix), nor numerous prickles along light brown stems. Rosa canina also has single pink petals that are white near the base. See the photos of various rose species in the NL Flora website to learn how to tell them apart.”

Some wild roses are white. Some of them aren’t. All the bushes seem to produce these berry-like things (they’re probably berries) often called rose hips.

People make jelly and other condiments from rose hips. And honey bees seem to like the flowers even after most of them have gone to seed in mid-October. Nice.

Check out Flora of Newfoundland and Labrador for more information on wild flowers in Newfoundland. Don’t trust me on any of this.

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