Honeybees collecting lawn rust fungus

I’ve never seen this behavior described, much less filmed. I’ve seen reports of bees bringing in orange “pollen”, but I wonder how much of it is actually lawn rust fungus. There isn’t anything blooming that I know of with orange pollen in my region (Southeast Pennsylvania, USA) this time of year. What do they do with it? I don’t know. Honeybees will collect many different powdery substances (coffee grounds, bird feeder dust, sawdust, etc.) this time of year when no pollen is available.

Plant poppies for your bees!

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.

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