Tag Archives: bumblebee

Guess what: Bumblebees can sting twice

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Continue reading

Bees in the spring

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Stay-put bee

Lazy bumblebee

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.

How many bumblebees do you see on the goldenrod?

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.

Cool weather revives hostas 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

A day of good bee hunting

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t use chemicals (the theme of the Tour!).

Grow flowers (preferably native flowers).

Avoid disturbing the ground (and leave some bare).

Continue reading

The usual suspects are in the goldenrod

August started early in the goldenrod.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Impatient bumblebee caught in the moment

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!

Hunting bumblebees in the raspberries

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!

Carpenter bees

More bees. Here’s some carpenter bees big and small. Both kinds tunnel their nests into wood, but they’re two separate families.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.