Thursday, May 5, 2016

Butterbur's irresistible allure for honeybees

Butterbur Petasites hybridus is a wonderful source of nectar and pollen for bees in spring - especially honeybees. These were feeding on the flowers of a large patch of the plant along the banks of the river Wear at Wolsingham in Weardale.

More about honeybees and the strange distribution of male-only clones of butterbur in today's Guardian Country Diary.


  1. Lovely to see what I read about over my breakfast this morning.

  2. It is said that the name comes from using he leaves to wrap butter. Years ago I saw a suggestion at Rievaulx that it had been specifically cultivated by the monks for this purpose (I can't remember where I saw this). Could this be the reason why the male plant grows in other parts of the country without the female being present, it was introduced to use the leaves for butter wrapping.
    Fantastic pictures of the dusty bees!


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