Bumblebees do not care if an intrusive gardener cuts down some overenthusiastic butterfly bush. They hardly notice if that gardener carries away that branch, should there happen to be luscious purple flowers to forage on. But if the bouncing of that branch drops that bee down the collar at the back of that gardener’s neck, bumblebees do not take kindly to being confined under the fabric of your shirt.
I saw a honeybee visit the crocus today. A bumblebee seemed to be looking for a good spot under the crocuses to start her nest. Crocuses nestle in the sheltered pocket where snapdragons have stayed green all winter. Crocuses bloom around the plum tree, which has so many buds of blossoms to come, you see it all nubbly from the kitchen.
The first bees of the year are bringing in spring.
I think the way this bumblebee stays put pretty sums up how I’d like to be right now. She’s been clinging to this same spray of goldenrod for a couple days now. Maybe it’s cold. Maybe she’s tired. Maybe she just sees no reason to go anywhere. All she has to do is move over a bit and there’s some nectar, move over a bit more and there’s some pollen. If you’re a bumblebee, it’s a nice way to wind down the summer.
But I gotta go.
Blurry bumblebees on goldenrod
I wish I could get the camera to convey the abundance of bumblebees on the goldenrod today. The sun is back and it’s found a perky stand of goldenrod in full color. Lots of bumblebees have found it too. Usually I could spot at least six or seven on it at a time. In this, the best of a blurry lot of pictures, you might see six or seven bumbles, too.
Usually the hostas flower in June and that’s it. But now with the cool weather, a clump of hostas up on the hill are flowering again.
They even have bumblebees in them, getting pollen pasted on their butts. It’s nice to see them flower again, but it feels like another sign of weird weather this year.
I enjoyed hosting today on the Life-Friendly Garden Tour. Nice people stopped by and let me show off my bees. If you’re interested at all in bees, you know about honeybees going missing. If you want to help honeybees, the best way is to keep a hive. It’s not hard, so they say, and it means more bees in your neighbor’s yard. But I want to support the native bees, and that’s even easier.
Don’t use chemicals (the theme of the Tour!).
Grow flowers (preferably native flowers).
Avoid disturbing the ground (and leave some bare).
August started early in the goldenrod.
They’ve been flowering for a couple weeks and bees love it. I’ll try to catch more pics of the little bees later. For now, here’s a bumblebee, a honeybee, and a mystery wasp.
Common Eastern bumblebee on daisy fleabane
After spending a little time every day of National Pollinator Week chasing bees, I finally caught some nice pictures of a Common Eastern bumblebee. It always amuses me to see these big, fat bees landing on such small flowers as this daisy fleabane. These bees have mass! I also think the Latin name, Bombus impatiens, makes a lot of sense; they’re always so impatient to get on with it and hurry to the next flower.
Thank you for your hard work, bees!
Lemon yellow bumblebee in the raspberries
This is one of the uncommon bumblebees I’ve been seeing lemon yellow flashes of in the raspberries. I think it’s the Perplexing Bumblebee. Better look quick, there she goes!
More bees. Here’s some carpenter bees big and small. Both kinds tunnel their nests into wood, but they’re two separate families.
The last few years in the spring, a big fat male carpenter bee patrols the yard. He can be pretty intimidating, flying by, but he can’t sting you. Aside from the pure bluster, you can identify the males by the white patch on their face. And they’re not bumblebees, bumblebees are fuzzy.
The small carpenter bees are so small they look like tiny little flying black ants. Only up close you can see their actual greenish color.