Squash bees are back!

Squash bee inside squash blossom
Squash bee inside squash blossom

The volunteer winter squash are back, and so are the squash bees. I found several male blossoms on the plant, all folded up and limp. One of them turned out to be a squash bee dorm, with two bees curled up in the bottom.

Squash bees are native to North America, specializing in squash flowers. They’re solitary bees that do best in undisturbed ground where squash grows every year. While the females sleep in their nests in the ground, like many other solitary bees, the males sleep in squash blossoms after they close up for the day.

In the morning, they fly out and pollinate the next day’s blossoms, long before honeybees warm up and come out. By noon, the blossoms close, and bees go back to sleep, after a job well done.


6 thoughts on “Squash bees are back!

  1. The other day I noticed a bee hanging around some flowering weeds. I said to him, really? You’ve got pansies and geraniums right over there and your pollinating weeds? He ignored me.

  2. Very interesting. I wonder how many species of bees there are? Its lovely to hear them; they are just beginning to arrive on the wild rosemary, and shortly ‘the hills will be alight with the sound of bee humming’

    1. There are hundreds of species of bees around the world. In my own yard, I’ve managed to identify about a dozen kinds. I’d love to hear them in the rosemary, but it’s still cold here.

  3. I had no idea the bees were sleeping in the squash blossoms. I would go out and water in the late evening and once I saw a bee stuck inside a wilted, closed blossom, i tore the blossoms open and “set the bees free.” Oops. I was worried about them. I hope they will return; this time I’ll leave them snug inside.

    1. Aww, that’s so sweet of you to set the bees free. I never thought about how they get out of the wilted blossoms. Maybe they bite their way out. We’ll have to watch for them when the squashes flower again.

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