Friday, May 01, 2009

Mesquite Blossoms

The mesquites are blooming, so it must be May. In this picture, our resident Beekeeping Goddess poses under a mantle of mesquite blossoms.

Mesquite blossoms bloom at different times. In this picture, the darker ones have already bloomed, the green skinny ones have yet to bloom, and the lightest ones are in prime bloom, producing nectar and ready to be sucked by bees. The main bloom lasts about 3 weeks, with the straggler bloom lasting for a couple more.

Here's a bee doing her job. Each mesquite blossom contains hundreds of florets, just the right size for a bee. Typically, only one or two florets from each blossom will produce a mesquite pod.

"Busy as a bee." In a good year, the mesquite trees hum with bee activity, which continues each evening until it's almost too dark to see. This is an off year for the mesquite, which means a small honey crop. In a good year, each hive can produce over 100 pounds of mild, light-colored mesquite honey. But that was last year, not this year.


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