Episode 12: Honey Bee Swarms and Weeds in the Mustard Family

In this episode, Casey talks about honey bees. These ubiquitous pollinators have a fascinating lifestyle. Unlike most other bees, they are eusocial animals with a well-organized and strictly managed caste system. One honey bee behavior that is particularly interesting is swarming. If you happen upon a swarm, contact the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club (idabees.org). They will send out an experienced beekeeper to collect it and find it a new home.

Honey bee swarm (via wikimedia commons)

Daniel’s topic is spring weeds in the mustard family. These are easy plants to identify, especially when they are flowering. A few common species flowering now include shepherd’s purse, tansy mustard, hairy bittercress, and blue mustard. Whitetop – a noxious weed in Idaho – is particularly problematic in the Boise Foothills due to its aggressive nature and its ability to spread via underground stems. It can be seen flowering now in abundance.

whitetop (Lepidium sp.)
whitetop (Lepidium sp.)
yellow alyssum or desert madwort (Alyssum desertorum)
flixweed or tansymustard (Descurainia sp.)


This episode aired on Radio Boise in May 2018 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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