I was wondering where some good resources might be found concerning bee forage for my area. I am trying to gain more knowledge of plants and flowers and their bloom times. Any resources will be much appreciated, thanks!
For me, the best resource for determining what you are asking about, is to watch the returning foragers at your hives. Then to drive, walk, and hike around within the normal foraging distance of your hives. Then compare notes, written or mental, between what the foragers are bringing in (pollen being the best visual indicator), and what you see those on flowers, carrying. Then to keep watching regularly and continue year by year. Soon you will have a good idea about local foraging.
For instance, if I see a large percentage of foragers bringing in a pale blue pollen, I can then compare that with the foragers on red-stemmed filaree (Erodium cicutarium), which will be collecting the very same shade of blue pollen. I can roughly correlate that, red-stemmed filaree is blooming, while I can observe the bees are harvesting its pollen. Once I no longer see that pollen being collected, I expect that it is no longer in bloom. Since, once a forager has learned to harvest from the flowers of a particular plant, they will continue doing so until that plant is no longer available.
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The second best resource for this information, is to locate someone who has been making these observations in your near vicinity, for as long as possible, and to ask them.
This information is extremely localized. What the very same plants do in my area is different than what they do a few miles north, south, east, or west of my location. It also varies, year to year (depending on the weather), but not quite as much as it does geographically.
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