The Bees Garden
February 2010

This time of the year, when the weather may be extreme we can help our bees with additional food. On sunny days our bees take flight and we wonder what they arefinding in the way of nectar and pollen. We are eager for springs arrival. We can help the bees by providing specific plants in our gardens for them to enjoy. One very goodplant that will be one of the first to bloom and be a food source for the bees is theFlowering Quince. The Quince will start to bloom as early as February and be in bloom in March. Not only is this plant an excellent early food source it is a beautiful landscapeplant that is as tough as Texas. It can handle extreme cold as well as the blasting Texas heat and drouth. It has apple-like, edible fruit that can be used to make Quince Jam.This plant was a food source for early homesteaders across the country. You will notice this plant in its blooming splendor on old homesteads where the old farm house haspast its time but the Quince is still there providing food for the honey bee.

Flowering Quince chaenomeles japonica

Raffle Plant of the month for our next meeting in February will beFlowering Quince, Chaenomeles japonica.

Raffle plants at our last January 11th meeting. Fruit Trees.

Fruit Trees for the Bees.

The most important thing to do when picking out what fruittrees to purchase is to know what varieties are best for your area and what soil typeyou have, such as an acid or alkaline. The correct root stock the tree is grafted to is justas important as what type of variety you choose. If planting in an acid sandy soil, thetree to be purchased should be grafted onto a 'Nemaguard' rootstock which has built-inresistance to certain nematodes. The following web site has listed the recommended fruit tree varieties for North Central Texas.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/publications/fruitlist.html

Fruit trees can be purchased at nurseries in containers or as bare root. I recommend the later, bare root. Container grown trees are ok but you must make sure not to buy one that has been in the container too long and has become root bound.