Good News for Michigan Honeybees

Around the Bend, photo by Daniel E. Johnson

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that the number of Michigan honey bee colonies is on the rise:

The number of honey bee colonies in Michigan rose about 16 percent over the last year. About 25,000 colonies existed at the beginning of 2016 in a census of operations with five or more colonies, according to the National Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. The comparable number on Jan. 1, 2017, was 29,000 colonies.

Varroa mites were the primary stressor of Michigan colonies over the last five quarters. They affected only 5.9 percent of the state’s bee colonies in the first quarter of 2016, but 64.1 percent of colonies in the third quarter of 2016. The Varroa mite is an external parasite that attaches to bees and weakens them.

The total number of bee colonies in the U.S. sank slightly during 2016, but held relatively steady at about 2.62 million colonies.

Colony Collapse Disorder symptoms were observed in more than 84,000 bee colonies in the U.S. from January through March 2017, a 27% increase from the same quarter of 2016.

View Daniel’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Spoon Flower

Spoon flower, photo by Bailwick Studios

The photographer writes that this flower might also be called a spooned daisy, African daisy, or a caped daisy.

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in Bailwick Studious slideshow.

More flowers on Michigan in Pictures!

Snowdrops and a Bee

Snowdrops and a Bee, photo by Trish P.

Trish took this Saturday on the Leelanau Peninsula. View the photo bigger, see more of the same in Trish’s In the Garden slideshow, and follow her at trishy_p on Instagram!

More flowers and more from the garden on Michigan in Pictures.

Lilacs on Mackinac … and lilacs in your garden

Lilacs on Mackinac Island

Lilacs on Mackinac Island, photo by Steven Blair

While lilacs are starting to wind down around the state, they’re just getting going on Mackinac Island. The annual Mackinac Island Lilac Festival started last weekend and continues through Sunday, June 15th. Here’s a few tips courtesy the Lilac Festival and Jeff Young, Lilac Curator at the University of Vermont Horticultural Research Center, Master Gardener and presenter of the “Walk and Talk with Lilacs” program during the Lilac Festival.

  • Common Lilacs need to have 9-12 canes for each 6 feet
  • Leave at least 2 feet between mature Lilacs.
  • Plant new shrubs 16 feet apart (circular shape)
  • Allow for a few more canes if you are planting as a hedge with less depth.
  • If you have too many canes, consider the oldest canes for removal first, leaving good spacing between canes.
  • If not enough canes, pick one or two of the best suckers each year until there are enough.
  • Once the Lilac is established, consider adding one new cane and removing the oldest cane each year to create a vigorous, healthy full flowering plant.

More at the Lilac Festival website.

View Steven’s photo background bigilicious on Facebook and see more at the Artistic Mackinac Gallery & Studio.

More lilacs and more summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Spring Showers on Spring Flowers

Spring Showers on Spring Flowers

Spring Showers on Spring Flowers, photo by David Marvin

View David’s photo background big and see more rainy, tulipy, irisy goodness in his slideshow.

More Spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Spring, Back in the Good Old Days

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Untitled, photo by Donald Anson

By “Good Old Days” I mean April 2011.

View Donald’s photo background big and see more in his awesome Flowers slideshow.

For the flower-deprived, there’s lots more flowers and more spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures too!

Wishing everyone the best of Michigan’s Thanksgiving Bounty

FARMERS MARKET Nov 2012-963

FARMERS MARKET Nov 2012-963, photo by RichardDemingPhotography

The story of Thanksgiving is one of our country’s oldest and best stories. At the heart of it is the sharing of the rich and diverse bounty of the land.

Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state, and here’s hoping that some of Michigan’s varied fruits, vegetables, meat and other local and tasty foods will make it to your table today and throughout the holiday season.

See this bigger and in Richard’s massive Farmer’s Markets 2012 slideshow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

More Thanksgiving on Michigan in Pictures.