Posts Tagged: Raphanus raphanistrum
It may not be the farmer's friend, but it's the beekeeper's friend.
Wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum), a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae, is considered a weed, but I consider it a flowering plant for bees when I see it along roadsides and parks and lining orchards and vineyards.
As winter leaves us and spring snuggles closer, the bees are all over the wild radish. Typically white or a pale pink with pale pinkish-purplish veins, it's an early bloomer. Often you see mustard and "the rad" growing together.
If a weed is "a plant that is not valued where it is growing," then this most certainly is not a weed.
At least to bees, beekeepers and photographers.
A honey bee heading for wild radish. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee in motion. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bees are wild about the wild radish.
It's not an invasive weed to them.
You'll see bees foraging among stands of wild radish along roadsides, pastures and other disturbed areas.
The wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum) is a member of the mustard family, Brassicaceae--a family that also includes cabbage, mustard and turnip.
Thought to be a native of Asia, the wild radish is found in just about every part of the world. In California, you'll see it throughout the state except in the deserts.
We recently paused to watch honey bees foraging among the wild radish at Pat Heitkam's Honey Bees, Orland. Heitkam maintains stands of wild radish and mustard near his apiary as early-spring sources of pollen and nectar. Bees need the food for their rapid spring build-up.
The bees did not disappoint.
Food for thought, and food for their hives.
Foraging Among Wild Radish
Working the Wild Radish