County Rail Farm / Field Five Flowers

Pollen-ho

The bees are bringing in pollen like crazy. It’s a good sign: they’ve found nectar, they’re pollinating the trees on the farm, and they’re feeding the brood (baby bees) inside the hive. The larvae need a high protein diet, and they can’t get it from just nectar, so they are fed “bee bread,” a mixture of pollen and honey.

These workers are bringing pollen into the hive. You can see the pollen sticking to the workers’ hind legs. Bees mix dry pollen with nectar and have special sticky hairs and a cup-like pouch to hold the pollen to their legs. That pouch is called a corbicula, or “little basket.” There are a couple guides to identifying plants by the color of the pollen the bees are carrying. I’ve seen bright orange, light grey, and yellow pollen coming in. The orange is probably dandelion, grey could be blackberry (we just planted some canes a few weeks ago – I’ll have to check if they’re blooming yet) or plum, which is more likely. The yellow could be a number of different things including cherry and apple.

The following video is a series of photos from that same hive, taken a second or less apart from each other. It comes out to about real time, and you can really see the amount of traffic going in and out of the hive.

I have a series of photos from each hive at the farm, but I think this one is the clearest and most exciting.

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Arugula season 2021 kicks off today! See you in 4-5 weeks little guys. Swipe for reverse process: seeding, raking big chunks of tomato and straw, pulling dandies (wow that sounds dirty... it was), and one of many cross sections of soil showing roots worms and the unseen billions of critters that make all our stuff grow and grow strong. #organic #homegrown #montana #arugulaseason
It is so exciting and encouraging to see green things growing out of the ground right now rather than just on the seedling bench. Tulips are comin, folks! @fieldfiveflowers
This morning’s snow-brows were too good to not share
Remember that live journal called Things Fitting Perfectly Into Other Things? It’s probably a tiktok trend or something now but that’s how I feel about seeding - esp this soaked ranunculus. Tuck em in, sing some Brittany Spears, and do a little dance in the greenhouse kinda day
Round #2 of grafted tomatoes! Someone asked for videos of grafting last time but I failed at posting them, which is probably good because I proceeded to kill them through sheer winter neglect 🤦🏻‍♀️. Let’s hope these little ones have a better survival rate (ie I don’t completely forget about them while they’re acclimating). #organic #tomatoes #greenhouseseason #montanahomegrown
Beginnings with @fieldfiveflowers as we fire up the greenhouse and remember all the back/neck muscles we forgot about this winter. And a portrait of my favorite seeding table broom, handmade from @foxfiregoods - she’s solid and a must have bench mate. Thanks, Grace - maybe we’ll actually grow some broomcorn this year !

Tracy Potter-Fins

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