Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Helping the Bees: Native Blackberry & Shining Sumac

Now that we are here more and working more closely with our plants and this beautiful land, we are very much noticing the plants pollinators are really attracted to. This spring we noticed hundreds if not thousands of bees of numerous species nectaring on Blackberry (Rubus sp.) flowers in our old field.

The blooms are super showy and made for quite a sight to see. We are in the midst of harvesting oodles of berries from these plants even when our cultivated raspberries shriveled on the cane due to drought.

Blackberries are an early pioneer species on land that has been cleared so it's a benefit to us and wildlife so you know I had to make a video about it.

Shining or Winged Sumac or Rhus copallinum (copallina) is another species we noticed this summer because the blooms are swarmed by bees. Holy cow! (Where did that phrase come from anyways?) We are super amazed and delighted that these plants we've planted and work so hard to keep alive are benefiting so many.

Shining Sumac flowers are part of a larger conical structure so it's quite showy. The leaves turn a spectacular scarlet in fall too making it well worth planting.

Our observations also make us consider that a huge part of our bee (pollinator) problem might just be lack of food. Yes, there are absolutely many chemicals causing them harm, but that is exacerbated by no food so - let's get to planting! What we do individually really does make a difference and we have proof right in these plants. Ahhh....that's a sigh of relief. We can help and that's balm for the spirit.


  1. I totally agree as I saw all the wildflowers along the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mtns. makes me realize the bees are all flocking to where they can find food.

    1. We all need food don't we?! Sometimes issues are complex and sometimes they are simple!


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