Getting the Red In

Sep 26, 2008

If you love pomegranates, you can thank a honey bee.

If you love capturing images of pomegranates, you can thank a honey bee.

And, if you love juicing them and making pomegranate jelly—as I do—you can thank a honey bee.

The honey bee makes it all possible.

In mid-May, our 81-year old pomegranate tree blossomed. The silky red blossoms drew dozens of bees. On May 26, armed with a macro lens, I photographed them gathering nectar and pollen.

The blossoms, like the bees, quickly vanished. Worker bees live only four to six weeks during the busy season. The blossoms dropped and fruit formed. Today, four months later, the harvest-ready fruit glistens with red jewels. More photo ops!

The tree is truly amazing. It’s 81 years old and yields six to seven orchard boxes of fruit each year. How can we be certain of its age? It was planted in 1927, the same year our Spanish stucco home was built. The owners planted a pomegranate tree because “our daughter loved them.”

So do the bees.

By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

A honey bee pollinates a pomegranate blossom on May 26, 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bee pollinating a pomegranate

Four months after the pomegranate tree blossomed, this is the result: crimson jewels. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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