Where are the …?
The first bees of the year are bringing in spring.
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).
Bees! When you look at this wall of grape leaves imagine you hear buzzing.
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.
More coneflowers have answered the first coneflower‘s call.
This is one of the great bee flowers. My trinity of bees — honeybees, bumblebees, and Agapostemon — visit them, methodically going through the spikes of pollen in the centers. When the Halictus bees are done with the sunflowers, they’ll come to the coneflowers too. Together they prepare the coneflowers to set seed for the goldfinches to eat.
And the coneflowers roll on to the next year.
The mound of catmint, Nepeta “Walker’s Low“, has bloomed all May and June, attracting an amazing array of bees.
Today’s harvest was brought to you by the bees.
Honeybees and small carpenter bees in the raspberries. Bumblebees, too, but they’re too fast for me to get a good picture. I caught a Lasioglossum bee in the flowerhead of one of the scallions I planted last fall. And the coriander flower is showing off one of my favorite syphrid flies, the beautifully patterned Toxomerus.
First I saw sunlight catching on insects flying over the garden, but I wasn’t sure I saw anything big enough. Then I definitely caught sight of yellow and black stripes. I walked over to the crocuses and heard that old, familar buzz. And there she was, the first bee of the year!
She’s definitely a honeybee, though browner than most. And while I got this picture, a big fat bee passed by, possibly a shiny-butt Carpenter bee.
The bees are ready, too.