Tag Archives: Lasioglossum

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.

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

Grow flowers (preferably native flowers).

Avoid disturbing the ground (and leave some bare).

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A raspberry and a blueberry from the bees

Today’s harvest was brought to you by the bees.

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Honeybees and small carpenter bees in the raspberries. Bumblebees, too, but they’re too fast for me to get a good picture. I caught a Lasioglossum bee in the flowerhead of one of the scallions I planted last fall. And the coriander flower is showing off one of my favorite syphrid flies, the beautifully patterned Toxomerus.

Bye, columbine

Bee diving up into columbine

The last of my columbines are still attracting bees (this one is a Lasioglossum), but they are fading and raising up fistfuls of seed pods.  They’ll be back. They’ve come back and spread with glee, ever since I planted a few seeds years ago. All I remember of the variety is that supposedly the dark purple, nearly black little bonnets were popular with death-obsessed Victorians. These self-seed so freely, they out-compete any other columbines I’ve tried. So they’re easy to grow, so easy I have to pull them up from random cracks in the stone walls. And the littlest bees love them.

Anybody want some columbine seeds?

Three bees

Cuckoo bee in dandelion

I still have nothing more to say about the flowers from yesterday. I want to talk about the bees, starting with the cuckoo bee up to its neck in dandelion. Like the birds, they lay their eggs in other bees nests so carefully dug and provisioned in the ground. I’ve seen them before, tiny reddish bees flitting around the dandelions. About the best you can say as that cuckoo bees mean there’s lots of host bees for them to steal from. These are of genus Nomada and they prey mostly on Andrena, and yes, there are even more of them around.

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The plums have bees, too

Bee on plum blossom

The plum tree is now covered in fluffy white blossoms, and surrounded by little bees zooming in and out. They don’t stop for long, quickly moving on to the next prospect. This one is a sweat bee of genus Lasioglossum, which I suppose doesn’t tell you (or me) much. They are native bees and this one probably came from a nest in the ground, and she’s probably foraging for nectar to provision the nest she’s building. Probably best of all, she’s pollinating plums.

123, yet another bee

Little black  bee

Little black bee

Yet another little black bee turned up in the asters.  I have the name of the species, Lasioglossum coriaceum. but that’s it.

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