Crocus, a beautiful flowering plant which belongs to the Iris family. It is considered to be one of the flowering plants which are known as “the heralds of spring”. Reason for that, is that their blooms appear at very late winter, which is why the appearance of it’s blooms heralds the arriving spring. This of course means that the crocus is an early source of pollen. We beekeepers understand very well how much the early pollen is good for our ladies. For those which are unaware of this, the pollen is labeled as “source of life” for honeybees. Sooner they start filling their hives with pollen, sooner they can expand their brood!

Whats amazing about them is that their corms can survive temperatures way below 1°C/35°F. It is the life cycle of crocus that gives us understanding of this unusual temperature tolerance. When the seed of crocus germinates, it grows just one spiky leaf. This is followed with focusing all of its energy into producing the corm. This happens in midwinter or early springtime. In simpler words, this flower is dormant goes into “hybernation”) during hot summer. At temperature of 60°F/15°C flower wakes up and initiates growth of its roots and shoots. It is actually the freezing temperature that gives signal to the flower to prepare for blossoming. When temperature is just little above 32°F/0°C, it will melt snow which will provide crocus with much needed water. That’s when their beautiful bulbs start appearing.

Physical Features of Crocus, As Early Source of Pollen

It is unclear if flower originated from Mesopotamia, or Iran. It was through Greece, where it was cultivated for saffron spice, that it got introduced to Europe. Without further delay, what are the physical features of crocus the early source of pollen? Well, the Iris family compromises of 90 species of perennials which are widely spread , from America, over region of the Mediterranean sea to China. Crocuses blossoms can be of many different colors. They can be purple, white, pink, and yellow. Pollen from crocus is an orangey color.

Crocus flowers are not just beautiful decorative flowers, but it’s source of pollen. Primarily, it is type of year in which they blossom that’s critical. Every beekeeper that aims to have strong colonies will certainly consider planting crocuses. Crocus bulbs are planted in autumn, before expected frost, when temperatures are below 60°F/16°C, with pointy side upwards. Spread them about 5cm/2inches apart.

You can read more about beneficial plants for Honeybees at Herbarium category of the World of Honeybees, or visit our Facebook page as well.

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