Beeware the Ides of March

March messPart of me doesn’t mind that there isn’t much in bloom in my garden right now. As ready as I am for spring, I have to admire March for hosting winter’s last hurrah. (Don’t I?) March is supposed to give us plenty to complain bitterly about and make us ache more than ever for spring’s colors and warmth. That’s its job. The garden is supposed to look beat. But tucked between winter’s worst (snow, bitter winds, raw and icy rain, what-have-you) are those divinely warm spring-like days that entice the bees out of their hives. And it’s a damn shame that there’s hardly anything in bloom for them to eat. In fact, more colonies starve in March than any other month of the year. Tragic. 

There’s precious little for them in my garden. Right now, only a witch hazel that’s been in bloom since January. Just based on looks I would say that the Salix chaenemeloides ‘Mt. Aso’ is in bloom because it’s in its kitten-fur stage, but it’s not far enough out for the bees. Even my hellebores aren’t quite there yet. Neither is the winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). I have no early crocus. No snowdrops or winter aconite. No skunk cabbage. So to make this long sob story short, I’m making a mental note — you are my witness — to remedy that this coming year. (That is, any or all but the skunk cabbage since I haven’t got a bog.)

Salix chaenemeloides 'Mt. Aso'Helleborus foetidus

Have the bees been out in your garden yet? What on? Will you have more for them next year? (For a March bigger variety of blooms, check out GBBD at May Dreams Gardens.)

3 thoughts on “Beeware the Ides of March

  1. Took a while to find how to open a window to comment, but here I am. Bees are busiest in the Camellias here or maybe that’s just where I’ve been poking my head. Bumblebees keep trying to chase me out of the greenhouse. I think they want to drill holes rather than seek nectar.

    Nell Jean, I’m glad you found the comments box! (hidden features are a drawback to a minimalist theme…) And it sounds like your bumbles might actually be carpenter or wood bees. We’ve got them living in the trim on our garage… -kris

  2. We have zero blooms in April, but as of today I have a hive! Sometime soon it hopes to have bees, so yes! I am thinking of this in earnest.

    Lynn, That is SO cool. I keep meaning to find a place for a hive in this garden. I can’t wait to hear that you have bees in it! -kris

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