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BEE PANTS... Plants many of us call weeds are very important to beekeepers.  Shown here is a foraging honey bee gathering nectar from purple dead nettle.  The plant to the right is henbit.  These common winter annual plants start blooming profusely during our late winter warm up and they continue to be a great source of both nectar and pollen (in most years) through April.  Purple dead nettle and henbit are in the same genus but the bees prefer the purple dead nettle probably due to the shorter flower tube which allows the bee’s mouth parts to more easily access the nectar.  Notice the bright red pollen loads on the bee’s hind legs. 
It’s still swarming time!  Please don’t forget if you see a swarm of bees in your yard you can call the NC Cooperative Extension 704-482-4365.  They will be glad to contact a local beekeeper who will remove the swarm.
Cleveland County Beekeepers Association News Article by Steve Gibson, Ag. Extension Agent (retired), Program Director Cleveland County Beekeepers Association.

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