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Native bee forage: salmonberry

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is native to the coastal areas of northwestern United States and southwestern Canada. The fruits look like yellow raspberries, sometimes with a red tinge, but they are delicate and soft. The flavor varies with local populations: sometimes they are sweet and tempting, other times they are bland and flavorless. Nevertheless, both berries and young stem sprouts were treasured by native peoples.

The plants grow along streams and in disturbed wet areas. The pink flowers are striking and well-attended by native bumble bees, mason bees, and honey bees. By May and June the ripe fruit attracts many woodland birds. If you want to make a jar of jam, you need to work quickly because the soft fruit is short lived and soon falls apart.

Rusty

Honey bee on salmonberry flower
Salmonberries that ripen in the sun develop a reddish tinge.
Salmonberry jam. Yummy.

Comments

jess
Reply

Note to self: put in salmonberries.

Kerissa
Reply

Hello – I am curious about something and would love a dialogue with someone knowledgeable about this subject. What are the ethics surrounding buying bumble bee colonies to promote pollination of an urban garden? (they would be native of course)

Rusty
Reply

I see no problem with buying bumble bee colonies. It is basically no different than buying honey bee colonies.

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