Snapshots From a Local Orchard: Blooms & Pollinators!
Howard’s Farm, a Chatham County orchard located a few miles west of Pittsboro, has been gorgeous the last week of March with all the peach trees in bloom, followed soon after by the blueberries. I spent a little time last week at the orchard photographing and observing the pollinators. Very soon the apple trees will be in full bloom!
Mature blueberry bushes produce thousands of flower buds every year, and each flower bud produces multiple flowers, all which must be pollinated by bees to set fruit. I observed many pollinators on the blueberry blooms in the last week, including honey bees and native bees such as bumble bees, blueberry bees, carpenter bees, and mining bees (see photos below). All of these bees are important, and blueberries benefit when visited by diverse species of bees. The tiger swallowtail butterflies were also visiting blueberry blooms but are not considered important pollinators for this crop.
All of these blooms mean fruit can’t be far behind, so stop by later this summer to pick up fresh peaches, blueberries, apples, and vegetables from Mema’s Fruit Shack at the orchard located at 7393 US 64 West in Pittsboro.
Click on each photo to enlarge.
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