For the past few seasons, I’ve been planting poppies for my bees, saving the seeds and planting again. I started with ordinary “bread” poppies from the grocery store baking aisle. They start a bit slow, but then take off quickly. Poppies provide enormous amounts of pollen early in the morning. I’ve seen as many as seven bees on a single flower with pollen sacs loaded almost instantly. I don’t believe poppy flowers provide much nectar, if any. It’s interesting to see the slight changes in the colors of the flowers as pollen from other poppy growers finds its way into my little gene pool. Below, I’m linking a short video of what I do here at home to grow poppies for my bees.
OH MY GOODNESS! (Full disclosure: These are not my pictures.) I had no idea that artichokes looked so beautiful when left to bloom. It is obvious why honeybees seem to love them. Artichokes are in the same family as thistle, so I assume their pollen and nectar supply is similar, as in very good. Now I just have to get a hold of some seeds or young plants. Has anyone ever let artichokes flower before?