Our raspberry farm is abuzz today.

Each raspberry “flower” has many stamens and styles, each attached to a carpel with two ovules. Because the small individual flowers on each receptacle open over an extended period, bees must visit each plant several times to ensure that enough individual flowers are pollinated to make enough fruit for us to sell.

We are relying on wild bees to do the work for us.
The flowers are kind of pretty close-up

We are talking 100 to 125 pistils, per raspberry to which pollen must be transferred to create a mature seed and the tasty red druplet surrounding the seed. If each and every one of these druplets is not pollinated, the overall integrity of the fruit is compromised and the fruit will be misshapen and crumbly.

I feel like I should be bringing out pitchers of iced tea for them or offering them tiny, careful massages.

Some of the many variety of bees I spotted include honey, bumble, carpenter, cuckoo, digger, mason, yellow-faced and mining bees. I would just get them in focus and they would be off before I could capture their photo. These few photos in the post were among about 100 of blurred or vanished bees. They are busy right?

You can tell that this guy is a honey bee as you can see the pollen basket on its hind leg (white). The bee moistens the pollen with nectar and packs it in the pollen basket for transport.

During this time of the year it’s important not to water the raspberries too much as the nectar will drip off the immature berry and the pollinators won’t be attracted to them. Pesticides are a concern too but not for us and we don’t use them on our organic berries. Even it the pesticide is not toxic to bees, they often repel them.

Encore raspberries.
We made mason bee houses at a recent Naramata Garden Club meeting. I plan on making more to give the little guys a reason to stick around and help us out.

There are so many recipes that use berries made possible by the work of all those bees. Here’s an easy one that looks and tastes great.


Easiest ever elegant dessert…part of the dessert table I made for my lovely niece Nicole’s wedding…

Chocolate berry shells

  • Buy pre-made chocolate shells
  • Daub a teaspoon or so of jam onto the shell and spread it around…it will act as “glue” for the berries
  • Decorate with a mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • Finish with a grating of lemon peel