Bee Lunch – Winter Blooming Camellias, A Winter Treat

Winter Camellia - source of pollen for honey bees in winterWait a minute, did someone not get the memo that winter is not a good time to be out foraging?  Apparently so because as soon as we inch into the upper 40s and the sun comes out pollen starts showing up at the entrance.

One source of that winter pollen coming into the hives is from the Winter Blooming Camellia.  Finding one in the heart of winter must be like winning the bee-lotto with their large rain resistant flowers and sweet scent.  Winter blooming varieties of Camellias prefer partial shade and do well under taller trees or next to buildings and you will want to give them enough space to grow and have air flow to prevent disease. There are several colors available from white to red, and as always when buying pollinator friendly plants remember to look for single form flowers that allow easy access to the pollen.  Camellias are evergreen providing attractive foliage year round and require well drained soil that is slightly acidic.  If you have been looking for a nice container plant for a patio, balcony or entrance way this might be the one for you.