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Friday, June 14, 2013

Busy as a Bee

Sorry for the long absence again, since I've been simultaneously busy and lazy haha. Starting from July onwards, I'll be embracing a new life as a college student studying for his A-levels. Everything will be a new experience for me; a new living space in the dormitory, new friends, new knowledge to gain, etc. I'll be busy packing stuff and getting ready for college soon, and I'm not sure whether I'll be able to blog in college again. Hopefully this isn't the end of it haha.

But the bees have been far busier than I am (and far more consistent too). They are great to have around as they pollinate my plants, ensuring the production of fruits and seeds in my plants.

Water lilies (Nymphaea sp.) are bee magnets. They never fail to capture the attention of these busy bees. This black bee appears to be a stingless bee, perhaps Heterotrigona itama, as IDed by a beekeeper friend.

This bee appears to be of the Ceratina genus, often known as the Small Carpenter Bee. It has nice yellow markings on its face.

2 bees using the same flower as a source of nectar. I'll never run out of water lily seeds as long as the bees keep visiting.

My Damask rose is also pretty attractive to the bees, and to me as well. The bees hover from one fragrant flower to another, collecting sweet nectar and pollen. However, I'm not sure of this bee species though.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The humongous family of flowering plants collectively known as orchids have been one of my favourite families of angiosperms since childhood, though I've only started collecting them since 2 years ago. With hundreds of genera and thousands of species in the widespread Orchidaceae family, orchids come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, colours, and growth habits.

These Dendrobium hybrids are very easy to grow, capable of taking full sun. They flower quite frequently compared to other orchids, and the flowers are relatively long-lasting. Usually, Dendrobium orchids will produce new offshoots after flowering ends, while the mother plant slowly dies. These offshoots grow quickly to flowering size and the process repeats.

This is an unknown Vandaceous hybrid. It is a very vigorous grower and blooms every month without fail. Sometimes, new flower spikes are produced even though the old ones have not faded yet. It is a very hardy plant, able to take the scorching heat and neglect without problems.

This beige Phalaenopsis (Moth orchids) was a gift from my mother. The venation and colour of the flowers is rather unique compared to other Phals, which are often shades of purple, white and orange. These are much more finicky than the other orchids though, since they dislike direct sunlight and excessively wet medium. They are slow growers and usually take a year to rebloom.

This Oncidium (Dancing Ladies) is also an easy plant to grow. It is very free-flowering and the cute yellow blossoms do resemble their namesake. Unfortunately, snails love munching on the flowers, so I have to hunt them down at night to prevent them from leaving holes in the blossoms.

Spathoglottis (Ground Orchids) are one of my favourite genera of orchids. They produce many colourful and long-lasting blossoms frequently, are hardy and problem-free, and can be grown in normal soil. While the flowers themselves are rather short-lived, the flower stalk will continuously produce new ones daily for months.

This white Cattleya is also a favourite orchid of mine. While it grows rather slowly, though faster than Phalaenopsis, the flowers are worth the wait. The huge, white blossoms produce a lovely fragrance, but only last for a few weeks.

On a separate note, I'll be going to college to further my studies this Jul, so I may cease being active again. I'll miss my plants a lot haha.