"The happiness for a bee is to exist, for man, to know it and to marvel at it."
Only 20% of flowering plants in our regions use the wind to transport pollen, allowing their fertilization. The remaining 80% use insects, mainly our friends the bees. If the wind is completely insensitive to the charm of plants, insects must find a good reason to visit and feed on them. To attract them, these plants, which are called entomophiles, secrete the famous sweet liquid: nectar, from which bees make honey. We can also speak of honeydew, another sweet liquid produced by plants through insects "sucking sap".
The bee needs a very wide variety of plants to meet its food needs. Even plants that may appear modest, even insignificant, are important for their health.
Each month, we will present a honey plant whose bees love their precious nectar.
A plant with a bad reputation... And yet...
Ivy is a plant that grows everywhere, even in the city. Both creeping and climbing, this species of plant does not please much because it is criticized for competing with the trees on which it could climb (it does not cause their losses), weakening the old walls on which it clings with its adhesive roots . Yet it is an exceptional plant that does not deserve this bad reputation.
Climbing ivy is native to Europe and western Asia. It is not very demanding and can withstand drought very well and adapt well. It is often found in the undergrowth, in the mountains. On the other hand, it does not really withstand the cold weather.
The first characteristic of ivy is its evergreen which serves as a refuge for many small animals. Then its cycle is completely reversed compared to other shrubs. It blooms in the fall and fruits in late winter and the first spring.
What about bees?
During its flowering, it produces pollen and an abundant nectar much sought after by bees. In September-October, the ivies in bloom are only buzzing and coming and going from insects lovers of delicious sweet substances. It is very rare to be able to harvest ivy honey, it is left to bees to perfect their winter supply.
Ivy is a plant of great apicultural importance. So don't get rid of your ivy ...
Please note, all parts of the ivy are toxic to humans. This is due to the presence of saponins, molecules which hydrolysis transforms into a very toxic substance which generate burns in the throat, headaches, cramps going to paralysis.
Did you miss last month's flower?