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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Holly and Honey

When we were lucky enough at our bee club to have a visit with the palynologist, Dr. Paul Arnold, I had the opportunity to have him analyze my honey. He examined a sample of my honey and according to his analysis, one of the key ingredients in my honey was pollen from holly. I had never even noticed that holly had a bloom. I've fully appreciated the lovely red berries in the fall, but I had not paid attention to the blooms.

Well, today I noticed that my holly is blooming and smells luscious. If I were a bee, I'd bury my head in a bloom and never leave, the smell is so sweet. I took a regular picture and a close up of the bloom. Looking at the close-up, you can see the nectar sources for the bee.

The male flower has four stamens, each of which produces pollen for the bee to pick up. The female flower has a large green ovary. You can see both the stamens and the ovary in the pictures below. If you'd like to learn more about the holly and bees, you can read it here.

I tried to get a picture of the honeybee who was visiting the plant at the time, but it didn't come out in good focus. Maybe I'll be luckier tomorrow.

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  1. Must admit I didn't know holly has flowers either.

  2. Neat to see this post! Just yesterday I was photographing my holly bush too.
    I could not believe how much pollen was on the dark green leaves. This was within a few hours after all the heavy rain we had.
    You answered my question that I had wondered about
    after seeing all the pollen.
    Which was, do honey bees like holly bushes nectar.


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