Here is a beautiful example of Dearth season, pollinator friendly habitat.
(click on pic to enlarge) There are only two trees here. Covered in pollinators of all types. Can you imagine what a quarter mile of roadside with these type of trees would do for the pollinators besides the honey bees?! Go one step further, a five acre field of sainfoin surrounded with these and other drought resistant trees and plants? How about 100 acres of sainfoin, which would be in full bloom now, surrounded and sectioned with hedge rows of Dearth/ Drought resistant pollinator foliage like what you see here. That’s not Eden for a Pollinator?!!! This is what the Upper Rogue Pollinator Project is all about. With one enormous difference from what is currently being done.
Economics, is what separates the project from all the rest.
Sainfoin is not harvested like alfalfa. To achieve the highest nutritional benefit Alfalfa is harvested when it just begins full bloom. Sainfoin is harvested later more towards the end of the bloom, supplying nectar and pollen to most native bees besides honey bees for a much longer period. Sainfoin is tremendously better than hay, for all foraging animals besides its seed for birds. Sainfoin has an economic impact that hay does not! Look at those fields!! See anything there that grass won’t give you? Check out this U-Tube segment on Sainfoin.
Our government is now (finally) investing in a big way towards trying to find ways to turn around our pollinator decline. With good reason, they’re falling like flies. Even here on the farm the Bombas bumble bees have disappeared, our farm has always been a pollinator friendly refuge. I miss my bumble bees…besides the butterflies and pollinator moths.
We are now entering summer. Our area was much luckier than most of the states in having what was a promising spring. And although build up went well for the hives, there was no excessive nectar buildup. No measurable amounts of honey were made, right up to now. Hives have already been working on themselves (robbing), which typically doesn’t happen till the end of July in our area. So if your considering taking advantage of that bit of honey in your hive for yourself, you may want to rethink about it. Except for star thistle, the Dearth season has started and will probably go until fall… Most of all the commercial guys have been feeding right up to now. Mites have been pretty heavy this year also. The up side of no honey production allows stronger means to fight the mites. Sadly, its all money going out for the beekeeper, little coming in… Our last (family) hopes are on the Clover in Wyoming for a honey crop. Word coming in that the clover crop in Willamette was marginal.
sure wish our valley was covered in Sainfoin, and the other trees (besides many others) you seen up above…