I have making an attempt to do some self talk and improve my numerous past resolutions to more regularly immerse my self in blogging, whether it be for the Backyard Farm one here or my “Bishop’s Beer Blog”… https://bishopsbeerblog. I actually love the catharsis that envelopes me when I put thoughts about my favorite things onto “paper” ….. I guess you can call words spread across this page as “onto paper”…. I need to thank Jennifer Moore, https://wayward-bee.com/2022/01/13/how-to-grow-bees/ for her article that gave me a push I needed to write this one……It has been in the planning stages for nearly 3 years or more. Problem with my mental filing system is that it has aged and probably not very well …… LOL. Now, be kind if you visit her site…..She is a Brit and my Australian and Canadian buddies have labeled me an “Anglophile” and it is not as a compliment. When I was being an active follower of her site I learned an awful lot of useful stuff and have a brilliant poster she put together on my dining room wall, Sustainable Beekeeping; https://wayward-bee.com/sustainable-beekeeping-poster/ Please give her a look…..Another big plus for Jennifer is that she is a lover of sourdough bread, as am I. Poke around on my previous blog posts here and you may run across a recipe for using spent grains from my brewing to make bread……most of the grains now go to feed the chickens at one of my nearby apiaries ……and yes I have digressed…..so where was I?

A few years back during the fall Goldenrod flow I grabbed my camera and macro lens to visit the bees foraging on the blossoms. Here in my area of east Texas the Goldenrod is a major component of what bees can put away for the winter…..the weather here is rather mild here but that can create problems for the bees too. Gives them false hope and they can start to brood up and then a freeze hits and they go through their stores rather quickly. This was probably Fall of 2019 or 18 when I first took a look and I was surprised at the variety of winged critters swarm on the Goldenrod! Something else that I will add about Goldenrod…..the heads of the stalks are, yes, brightly golden, but on closer examination the blossom heads are a collection of incredible dainty and small individual flowers. The photos below will include honeybees and you can use them as a reference against the blossom size. I was amazed once I got down onto my belly and closely examined and photographed the drooping blossoms. With that perspective I saw winged critters almost too small to see as they flitted around….

Next group will include the teeny and tiniest that I was able to observe. All of the photos in this blog were shot in October of 2021 with a Sigma 90mm Macro lens……and yes I am still practicing. Before I will go on with some more photos I will reference Jennifer again. Her “how to grow bees” post really addresses what we need to create a winged critter friendly environment. When I have discussions with folks about my beekeeping I get lots of comments about protecting honeybees. This allows my to bring the discussion around to the myriad of pollinators that very few people even realize exist. I have a little shelter in my backyard that houses Mason Bees through out the year……unknown to many is that they may actually be a better pollinator than honeybees – they are also known as Orchard bees. You will notice wasps and hornets on blossoms….their larvae need protein to develop of which pollen is the key ingredient. And others that I have zero knowledge of what they need and how they utilize it. 2023 I may make a concerted effort to polish my macro lens skills and attempt to catalog the many winged critters on the Goldenrod.

Hope this gives you a better understanding and knowledge about pollinators and not just honeybees.