Bee Forage during the Dry Season in Sagalla

Field Report and Photos by Muasa Mwololo, Elephants and Bees Botanist 

The dry weather season has started to creep up in Sagalla. Plants leaves have withered, dried up and are starting to fall. The wet, beautiful green scenery that was has now faded to a dull and dry grey- brown scenery.

Acacia horrida

 

Despite of all these flora changes, it is flowering season for other several plants in Sagalla. Flowers from these plants are blooming, creating a balance between the once wet, green, harmonious scenery and the now less attractive dry, grey-brown scenery.

The blooming flowers are also providing  forage to the bees’ colonies during this dry season, therefore helping to sustain the bee colonies between now and the next rainy season.

Among the plants observed flowering during this dry season are:

1, Thylachium thomasii.

Thylachium thomasii

 

It is an evergreen shrub or tree with a tuberous rootstock growing up to a height of 5 meters.

The flowers are white-green, sometimes with purple marking the downside of the filament.

Bees visits the flower to collect pollen.

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2, Euphorbia bussei.

Euphorbia bussei

 

It is a tree with succulent segmented branches producing white sap when cut or broken.

Flowers are golden yellow and scented.

Bees visit the flowers to collect both nectar and pollen.

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3, Delonix melata.

Delonix melata

 

It is a tree with a spreading crown growing up to a height of 15 meters. The flowers are white with the uppermost petals fading to an orange color.

The petals have irregular margins.

Bees visit the flowers to collect both nectar and pollen.

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4, Melia volkensii.

Melia volkensii

 

Melia volkensii is a deciduous tree growing up to a height of 20 meters. The flowers are white-scented in dense headed panicles.

Bees visit the flowers to collect both nectar and pollen.

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5, Acacia tortilis.

Acacia tortillis

 

Acacia tortillis is a tree with both spines and hooks growing up to a height of 18 meters with a spreading flat or umbrella shaped crown.

The flowers have white or cream heads.

Bees visit the flower to collect pollen.

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The above mentioned plants are just some of the few plants observed flowering during this dry season. It is amazing how different plant species flower during different seasons, thereby ensuring that there is continuous forage for the bees throughout the year.

Photo credits: Muasa Mwololo

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