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Pollination in Rhode Island

Bees are designed to be pollinators and have pollen cling to their bodies and transferred onto other flowers they land on. Their legs have long hairs that pollen can stick to, as well as "pollen sacs" on their sides that collect large quantities of pollen and stay piled up on their sides. 

When pollen from different flowers mix together it lets new fruits, vegetables, and flowers be fertilized. Bees help pollinate many of these Rhode Island fruits and vegetables: 

  • broccolli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cucumbers
  • pumpkins, summer squash, butternut squash, 
  • zucchini, tomatoes, apples, strawberries
  • blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, peaches

Plants to attract bees in your garden: Variety is best to attract many bees into your gardens.  Try planting these:

  • dandelions, milkweed, goldenrod, roses
  • black eyed susan, daisies, sunflowers
  • laurel, rhododendron, azalea, aster 

Bees are busy all year working to keep our world functioning. Here is a time table of how Rhode Island bees spend their time: ​

Timeline of Bee Activity in Rhode Island 

January February March/April May/June July

The bees huddle together in the hive to surround the queen and keep each other warm during the winter​

The queen will begin to lay her eggs

If warm enough, the bees will start to fly out in search of food


Workers collect pollen and nectar from flowers to make into honey and the queen will begin mating with drones from around the area

Honey can start being collected from the hives. RIC will usually collect a total of 100 pounds of honey between the three hives

August September October November December
Worker bees will restore any damage to the hives, using propolis "bee glue" to fill any cracks Drones are pushed out of the hives because their job is complete   Workers travel for the last few gatherings of nectar before hibernation  

Queen stops laying eggs


Bee will hibernate over winter, huddling close and eating the honey they have stored over the year

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Page last updated: April 16, 2019