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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was always under the assumption that since honey bees originated in Europe, their preferences for nectar are with non-native, European in origin plant material. In the last week, as some of my natives are beginning to flower. A few of my bees are working the Purple Coneflower, etc. I was wondering if this was a indicator that there is not much else in bloom? The white clover is still blooming.
Sadly, I am not seeing very many butterflies this year. Just a couple of zebra swallowtails and a tiger swallowtail, a few red admirals and lots of cabbage whites that like my kale.
 

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the honey bee rely's on smell then site karl von frisch http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_von_Frisch

did extensive study of bees site and smell. They can only see a few colors. There is a book out that is a really good read in learning how the bee finds nectar and pollen sources
 

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There is a book out that is a really good read in learning how the bee finds nectar and pollen sources
What is the name of the book, please?

Yesterday I watched a few of my bees working butterfly milkweed, Culver's Root, purple coneflower, and liatris. All of those are natives.
Butterfly milkweed=orange
Culver's Root=pale lavender
Purple Coneflower=pink petals, dark center with orange
Liatris=lavender

I was fortunate enough to watch a black swallowtail lay her eggs on my fennel yesterday afternoon. I noticed she checked out the parsely next to the fennel, but chose the fennel to lay her eggs on. It appeared as though she was taking inventory.

Who needs fireworks? All this was exciting enough for me.
 

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Well, I may have answered my own question. I put some sugar water on a hive that was a package this spring. They have struggled in one form or another. Sure enough, they took it right down. It's July and I don't think there are any nectar sources out there. Hard to imagine, but I am going to continue with the sugar water based on the theory that if they didn't need it, they wouldn't drink it.
 

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dr karl van frisch Bees is the name of the book it was publish from papers from a lecture at cornell university. Now for the good part his last doctorial student was Dr Rudolph Jander who continues to study bees at get this Kansas University in lawrence his last dr student just graduated a couple years ago from KU and Im not sure where he went he was of middle eastern descent. Both are regulars at the kansas honey producer associations spring and fall meetings
 

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Try Googling Karl van Frisch and read some of the articles about his researches. I read his book many years ago---it's not very big but full of interesting content.
 
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