Look who turned up in the Joe Pye Weed

It’s a honeybee!

We see one or two of these nectar-feeders every couple weeks in our neighborhood flowers…but no more. It’s a curious thing, since honeybees live in a colony? We would think they would spread the word there is a good source and have every worker out feeding.

Go figure!

Busy as a…

Bee! We had to stop and appreciate that he circled the center of each shasta daisy, gathering the nectar from the row of disc flowers that are currently blooming. That flower is smart, not putting all of its nectar and pollen out at one time, forcing those bees to make frequent trips back. They are sure to get pollinated this way.

This is definitely a fuzzy native bumblebee, we think a Bombus perplexus, the Confusing Bumblebee. That’s why we aren’t sure!

Bees and wasps seem to be all we see these days. No butterflies to speak of. The one tiger swallowtail we spotted flew so high, you’d think he was after our growing acorns.

You humans seem a little busier this month than last. We squirrels are not sure what to make of this. Make sure to break each other like bees and distance yourselves!

Pollinator Friends in Hemp Dogbane

Hickory and I have spotted a number of pollinators in this suburban grove of Hemp Dogbane.

Many of them flew too fast for us to catch, but four bumblebees slowed enough…

An Azure skipper popped in.

And the last was sleeping–a carpenter bee!

Happy Pollinator Week!

Carpenter Bees on Pollinator Week

We are getting a late start to alerting our readers of this important week, but hope if you are reading us that you are already here with protecting pollinators.

Here’s an interesting thing we read this week: Some of you humans are still trying to rid your yards of Carpenter Bees.

Yes, we know they eat into your wooden eaves and deck rails to lay their eggs. Maple trees also fill up your gutters with samara seeds. Moles dig holes in your lawn. Snakes eat baby birds in their nests.

It is nature.

Carpenter bees are just doing what carpenter bees do. Maybe more of us should be like one of the commenters who said they leave out an untreated board for the bees to do their thing with so they don’t bother the house.

Have you noticed that Carpenter Bees frequent your flowers?

They feed on nectar and gather pollen to lay their eggs on. They do not live in colonies or have a hive to protect, so though they are large and noisy, they are gentle.

They also pollinate a lot of flowers. Because of their size, Carpenter Bees may be one of the few native bees to be able to survive you humans’ rash pesticide use.

Imagine if you humans killed off a bee because it ate a bit of deck wood, and lost your ability to grow a third of your food?

Please read this article on CarpenterBees, Bee-ing Important Pollinators by Green Blog. The contributions of carpenter bees to pollination far outweigh their destruction of wood.

Please help save ALL pollinators.

 

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Maybe you’re good at identifying these little fliers. We aren’t, so we admit we had some help…

If you want to place a guess, put your answer in our comments, and we’ll check back later with the correct answer.

~~~

At only about an inch long, skippers are tough to identify. If you get them sitting still and can magnify… See the dots on the wings? The Fiery Skippers have those. The males are orange with black spots and the females are browner, and have orange checks. Here’s another of the… (make a guess now!)

male. They frequent sunny, open areas and like to sip the nectar of swamp milkweed, knapweed, sneezeweed, asters and thistles. Their caterpillars–which are a greenish pink with a black head–eat leaves, and then when they want to rest, will roll the leaves and tie them closed so they can lay horizontally on the ground.