A good way to spend part of Valentine's Day is to "bee" among the almond blossoms.
We stopped by the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Facility on Bee Biology Road, University of California, Davis, today to see and hear the bees buzzing.
That they did! An entire chorus of bee buzzing...
As Debbie Arrington wrote in today's Sacramento Bee: "Fluffy puffs of delicate white and pink flowers crown tree after tree; they hint of spring--except it's only Valentine's Day and spring isn't supposed to arrive for another five weeks."
Don't tell that to the Laidlaw bees. Spring is already here.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1976, told Arrington: "Honey bees don't really get confused. They do act predictably. Anytime the temperature gets above 55 degrees, if there's food somewhere, they'll go get it."
"Street trees usually bloom a week earlier than orchards," Mussen told her. "Plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and almonds are going like crazy."
Yes, indeed. We saw street trees (almonds) blooming in Benicia--maybe we should spell that Bee-nicia--in late January.
And that was way before Valentine's Day! Sweet!
Honey bee foraging on almond blossoms on Valentine's Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee working the blossoms on Valentine's Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee in flight on Valentine's Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)