Rain and sun lead to…

Flowers and pollinators!

Despite our regular afternoon showers, the bees and butterflies have been out in force to gather when they can.

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Honeybees

honey-bee-in-flightWe’ve heard a lot about honeybees in the news, and you humans are very concerned about their decline, but did you realize they aren’t even native? We squirrels kind of knew that, but it’s not like we keep track of your human activities. Even the ‘wild’ bees are escaped from domestic colonies brought to North America, according to the Bug Guide website’s article on bees. (Can you tell we love that website?)

First, the decline. It started in the mid 2000s and is still somewhat of a mystery. Read here for more on how Colony Collapse Disaster unfolded: Earthjustice’s The Perfect Crime: What’s Killing all the bees?

Second, take a gander at some honeybees to you can identify them.

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Honeybee on a sneezeweed.

honey-bee-on-a-butterfly-bush

Honeybee on a Butterfly Bush

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This Honeybee on a Zinnia has pollen sacs on his legs filled with pollen.

Have you ever seen bees swarm?

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See all the little gold dots? Bees.

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It takes them a bit to gather after they leave. See the thickening of bees on the branch on the upper right?

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And the branch below it!

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They take a bit to get organized into one swarm.

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Then they collect and rest before taking off again. We squirrels don’t want to be in the treetops when this happens, but it’s an amazing thing to watch!

Just how important are honeybees? We squirrels believe our readers know, but if you still haven’t had enough of reading about bees, check out Earthjustice’s 11 Bee facts that will have you buzzing.