Carpenter bee on patrol
Right about when the bumblebees show up, the Carpenter bees come out too. Bumblebees are placid, fuzzy fellows that take no notice of you. While they look like extra large bumblebee, the Eastern Carpenter Bees have a shiny tail, and the males will get in your face, and tell you in no uncertain terms to get out of their territory. You can tell the males by the way they patrol a nice patch of flowers, and by the pale patch on their face. For all that sass, male bees are all show and no stinger. (What they have instead of a stinger is deployed for the lady bees only.)
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).
Posted in Bees, garden
Tagged Agapostemon, bees, bumblebee, carpenter bee, Ceratina, halictus, honeybee, Lasioglossum, sweat bee, Wool carder
More bees. Here’s some carpenter bees big and small. Both kinds tunnel their nests into wood, but they’re two separate families.
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.
Carpenter bee clinging to goldenrod
We went out for dim sum today, and I feel as lazy as a bee hanging on the goldenrod with a faceful of flower. This is a Carpenter bee, and you know it’s a male because of the light spot on his face. He was so sleepy, I could move the goldenrod to an easier reach and put the camera right in his face. And yes, bees sleep.
While I’ve been reading, all sorts of bees have been busy buzzing at the Goldenrod Buzzapalooza.
Carpenter bee keeping an eye on you
It turns out one of the bees that has been cruising the yard has been cruising the yard looking for dates.
Oh, asters, wild asters, beloved of bees.
Honeybee gathering pollen
You tumble down hill and sway on the breeze.
Humongous carpenter bee
Don’t tell the bees that summer is ending. They’re still crowding out the butterflies on the butterfly bush. The butterfly bush is where I first met the carpenter bees, and they’re still scaring me whenever I brush by.
Yes, it may be hard to be believe but there are bees that scare me. That rattling buzz right in the ear is hard to take, even when you know they’re just passing by. They make no mistake about who they think is getting in whose way. So when they decide they’re going to hang around, I stay out of their way and move very slowly.
Collards form towers of flowers
Carpenter bee hanging from a collard flower
Have you ever bought some bok choy and left it in the fridge while you figured out what to do with it until it opened up bright yellow flowers? That’s why my collard plants did, only six feet tall. Tall, outspread candelabrae of flat yellow flowers just begging for big fat bees. It’s covered in bees, carpenter bees the size of your thumb.
Carpenter bees play rough
There’s a big, fat bee that likes to hover over the patio controlling the territory. He looks like a large bumblebee, but the white spot on its face and shiny butt mark him out as a male Carpenter bee. I’ve been buzzed a few times passing through. Lucky for me, I’m not another bee.