Foraging Notes

Observations On What Happy Bees Are Foraging

Verified accounts of honeybees foraging in Golden Hill month by month.

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This page contains verified accounts of honeybees foraging in Golden Hill within the foraging range of our Happy Bee hives, organized chronologically. It is reasonable to assume that the nectar and pollen Happy Bees are gathering includes sources from the flowering shrubs and trees documented in these foraging notes.

Honey is derived from the nectar of flowers, gathered and stored by female foraging bees in their honey "crop", a separate storage "compartment" from the bee's digestive stomach. Natural enzymes are added to this nectar by the honeybees. The nectar is then transferred to the beeswax honeycomb. In this state, the nectar with enzymes is much less viscous (more runny) and lighter in color than honey because it has a fairly high moisture content.

Bees perform a variety of tasks to evaporate off much of the water content, producing a much thicker and more colorful substance that, when sealed up in a honeycomb cell with a capping of wax, officially becomes honey.

Honey will vary in color and taste depending on the sources of nectar that is gathered by foragers. The availability and sources of nectar vary throughout the year depending on what is blooming. Thus, Happy Bee honey is a delightful blend of a wonderfully diverse array of nectar sources from the flowering shrubs and trees of native habitats surrounding Golden Hill in the canyons and parklands as well as non-native irrigated landscape that provides a wonderful supplement during times of year when nectar would otherwise be in short supply.

Any flowering shrub or tree foraging event identified as "estate" was observed at the apiary location in Golden Hill, which includes both native and non-native plants. The native "estate" plants are mostly Southern California natives that were either planted on site, or have propagated from recent plantings, and all are irrigated sparingly as needed.


August 2021

Estate

    • Native Coyote Bush (Baccharis pilularis)

    • Native Menzies' Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Mule Fat (Baccharis salicifolia)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • King Palm

Non-Estate

  • Desert Willow (Native to Southern California Deserts, in a native garden on 21st St) (Chilopsis linearis)

  • Crape Myrtle Trees on 22nd St

July 2021

Estate

    • California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

    • Native Menzies' Goldenbush (Isocoma menziesii)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Native Mule Fat (Baccharis salicifolia)

Non-Estate

  • Balboa Park Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina)

  • Chinese Tallow (noted on 25th St) (Triadica sebifera)

  • Jacaranda

June 2021

Estate

    • California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

    • Native California Holly / Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Passion Fruit

Non-Estate

  • Jacaranda

  • Bottlebrush on 22nd St

  • Native Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina)

May 2021

Estate

    • California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

    • Native California Sunflower (Encelia californica)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Native California Holly / Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia)

    • Native Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri)

    • Passion Fruit

    • Reed Avocado

    • Cilantro (Coriander)

    • Pomegranate

    • Green Onion

Non-Estate

  • Citrus Blossoms Still Blooming (although not as much as April)

  • Avocado Blossoms Still Blooming (although not as much as April)

  • Jacaranda (Starting to bloom in places, lots of buds too)

  • Native Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina)

  • Bottlebrush on 22nd St

April 2021

Estate

    • California Buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum)

    • Native California Sunflower (Encelia californica)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Native Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Non-Estate

  • Citrus Blossoms everywhere!

  • Avocado Blossoms

  • Lavender

  • Milk Vetch (Balboa Park)

  • California Pepper Tree (Schinus molle) Russ Blvd

March 2021

Estate

    • Native California Sunflower (Encelia californica)

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Native Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

    • Meyer Lemon Blossoms

    • Broccoli Raab Blossoms

Non-Estate

  • 22nd Street Lemon-Scented Gum Tree (Corymbia citriodora)

  • E Street Avocado Blossoms

  • Citrus


February 2021

Estate

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Native Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Non-Estate

  • 22nd Street Lemon-Scented Gum Tree (Corymbia citriodora)

  • 23rd Street Callery Pear

  • Golden Hill Community Garden and F Street Rosemary

  • Jade


January 2021

Estate

    • Native San Diego Sunflower (Viguiera laciniata)

    • Native Beach Aster (Erigeron glaucus)

    • Rosemary

Non-Estate

  • 22nd Street Lemon-Scented Gum Tree (Corymbia citriodora)

  • 24th Street Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides)

  • South Park Sapote (observed by Erik Hanson)