Two Bees --
There are several native hollies near me -- one is huge that I limbed up last year; I can stand under it. Standing under it while it was blossoming was like being in another world: heady perfume, constant contented buzz and gentle movement of busy bees.
I'm reclaiming part of a field that used to be red clover and fescue; the fescue won many years ago. But with some selective mowing I'm leaving as many patches of red and white clover I can find, encouraging them to spread. This fall I'm moving some perennials and hope to seed the empty bed with clover.
I remember as a child running barefoot through white clover, making clover chain necklaces, and searching for the elusive 4-leafed lucky foliage. After being stung a few times I learned to always watch for -- and watch in wonder -- the many honeybees about. When I began thinking about keeping honeybees last year, I realized that I hadn't seen bees on clover in several years, certainly not in the numbers I used to see. This was another compelling reason for me to keep bees.
I go to the NC mountains every few weeks. The red rhodos are in full bloom now, as well as the mountain laurel (also poisonous). I know that the honey prized there is from the sourwood flow, which is later this summer. The tulip poplar is just finishing now, which is also popular mountain honey. I can't imagine that some of the rhodo/laurel nectar doesn't get mixed with the sourwood, and no one complains. A friend is there this week -- I'll ask him to check into what the honeybees up there are visiting. I'm guessing the honey harvest is done from the topmost supers soon after the sourwood flow, so perhaps most of it at that point is sourwood with very little rhodo. Maybe I'll find some fellow beekeepers in those parts and ask.