Spring flower 20: Honeysuckle

Family Caprifoliaceae
Genus Lonicera
Species L. fragrantissima
ZBAS 8

Yesterday I was driving into the Giltner Parking Lot and saw many bees foraging on some small flowers…Close inspection suggested a type of honeysuckle. Later I identified it as Lonicera fragrantissima,  an early spring blooming honeysuckle with lemon like fragrant smell, imported from China. Common names are winter honeysuckle, sweet breath of spring.

Today I brought my wireless flashes (batteries cost $20!) to test. 

1. At the right side to the gated entrance to Giltner Hall parking lot.  Left are the honeysuckles..tiny flowers with old leaves from last year…not very conspicuous, no wonder I found them now, about 5 years since I moved to Giltner Hall.  On the right is Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa), which produces tiny (about the size of a large soybean) but edible fruits.

2. A quite typical honeysuckle: paired flowers, and white when young and yellow when old.
The chinese name for this type of honeysuckle is called gold-silver flower (金银花), referring to its two colors.

3. A closer up.

4. A solitary bee, with pollen stored on the hairs under the abdomen, called “scopa”.

5. Honey bees too of course (5-10).

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12. 100% Crop

13. Red maple (Acer rubrum) is almost done. I was told bees are making much maple honey this spring due to the extremely warm weather! our bees are full with brood, pollen and nectar in 2 boxes (one deep and one medium) and need supers soon.

14.  The flowers  have male parts (anthers) but they do not seem to open…so functionally it is still a female flower?

15. Cornus mas,a dogwood imported from China. The cornelian cherries produced are edible. can see some nectar on flowers, but no bees! (I was able to shoot some bees on this flower about 3 years ago, 2017, using a cell phone. When I went back with a camera, of course, the bees wont show up!).

ZBAS = Zach’s Bee Attraction Score.
Posted March 20, 2012
Updated June 1, 2020.

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Author: Zachary Huang

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