As the trees at DMS Ranch mature, they will be producing not only more luscious lemons but a lot more nectar. The lemon flower has a brief life of a few days but during this time it puts out a lot of nectar, which is very attractive to both honey bees and bumble bees. Orange blossom honey has been one of my favorites so we are looking forward to having Meyer Lemon honey once all our trees mature.
In the meantime, the trees that are currently producing are supporting local wild bees and a few honeybee colonies in the area. Because the Meyer lemon blooms much of the year, it is an important nectar source when not much else is blooming in our area. Summers are dry here so native wildflowers are pretty well over by June leaving a dearth of natural nectar sources so the bees are happy to have the lemons.
The smaller native bees are not seen much on these flowers likely because their tongues are too short to reach the nectar but we also see a lot of humming birds many of which are nesting in the lemon trees. We have seen a recovery of the bumblebee population as well, which was knocked back some years ago by a virus and lack of flowering plants.
This is another reason we don’t do any spraying at DMS Ranch. Even ‘organic’ insecticides would kill honeybees and bumblebees and likely affect hummingbirds as well. We are not on this planet to poison other creatures even if our poisons are labeled ‘organic’.