The blackberries are blooming and though they are totally invasive in Portland, the Himalayan Blackberry that is, they are so essential to the life of urban bees. Blackberry nectar makes up the largest part of the annual honey production and is the last big flow before they settle down to fall activities like curing the honey they collected.
Today I walked around my neighborhood and watched honey bees, most likely from my hive, busy collecting from blackberry blossoms, borage flowers, lavendar, wisteria and even cedum blooms. They are everywhere.
So while I completely understand the need to cut them back in certain areas. I certainly don’t like their poky selves wrapping through my tiny back yard strangling out the raspberries and veggies I so diligently planted. It is really important for the health of our bees that we leave some of the blackberries room to grow. And even more important that we not spray them with herbicides or pesticides since the bees will for sure bring those toxic chemicals home with them and I have heard more than one story of a hive collapsing because of that.
That ripe berry in the bottom left was my first treat of the blackberry season.