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 Having flowers in bloom for each season is very important in the lifecycle of honey bees. In early spring the hive is becoming active and winter food stores may be in short supply. In summer the colonies are working overtime raising their young and building a substantial population which requires vast quantities of food. In fall, as nature is beginning to wind down, the bees are forced to forage on a dwindling supply of flowers to build enough food reserves to supply the needs of the hive through the cold winter months.  PLANTING FLOWERS FOR EACH SEASON OF BLOOM INSURES A DIVERSE FOOD SUPPLY FOR HONEY BEES! You might be wondering... What makes a flower attractive to a honey bee?  Well, honey bees have a short "tongue" called a proboscis that they use to ingest the nectar from flowers.  Some flowers are too deep for their proboscis to reach, or the  nectar is hard for the bee to harvest. For this reason honey bees prefer shallower, flatter blooms. The honey bee carries the nectar back to the hive to produce honey, which is a source of carbohydrates for the entire colony..... Ok! I get it... but what about the pollen? What is that all about?? .... Well , the bee and flower have developed a relationship over thousands of years. The flower produces a reward for the bee, to attract her to the pollen. As the bee acquires the nectar some of the pollen is collected , but some gets stuck on the bees body. As the bee goes about finding more nectar it delivers pollen from one plant to another and greatly aids in the plants reproduction....  Ok, but what do they do with the pollen they collect? ... The bee brings some of the pollen back to the hive, where it is used as a source of food for the colony... it is a source of protein. So together the bee collects carbohydrates and protein for the colony from the flowers, and helps the plants reproduce by providing pollination services.  A relationship between two organisms where both benefit as the result is known as "mutualism" by scientists.




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