Peach Blossoms and Bees

The Transition Garden peach tree is in full bloom now. This peach variety is called Canadian Harmony.

After 7 years, the tree is well formed and can produce a significant amount of peaches every year – IF we get a good spring pollination and fruit set.  Timing is key.  This variety tends to be an early bloomer, which is a bit risky.  The weather needs to behave – there must be no frosts, and no long stretches of rain and cold, so that the bees can do their pollinating.  As you can see, the tree is right next to the bee hive!

This spring has been unusually cool and rainy, which has kept the bees frustrated. I continue to remind myself that we are rapidly getting into climate change, where there is no longer a case of what’s ‘usual’ or ‘unusual.’  In the Transition Garden, we will need to learn to take each season as it comes, and learn to be as adaptive as possible.

Keeping bees is a valuable learning experience for any one.  As we know, bees and the many other insect pollinators are becoming more and more at risk in today’s world.  We need them for much of the world’s fruit, nut and vegetable production.  Beekeeping keeps you close to the action in this world, and you begin to glimpse the world of pollinators.

It is a fantastic experience for anyone, youth included, to sit for long periods near the entrance of a busy hive and watch to comings and goings.  You can even see forager bees coming in over the tree tops at full speed from a long nectar and pollen collecting journey (they can go up to 2 miles), circle around the hive a few times and go into the entrance.  Bee friendly to your bee friends!

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