Posts Tagged: pollen
Honey bees and daisies are made for each other.
The white petals and the golden centers seem incomplete without the presence of buzzing bees.
Today we watched a pollen-packin' honey bee, with a pollen load the color of autumn pumpkins, work a daisy.
No matter that it was Friday the 13, supposedly an unlucky day. It was a lucky day for her as she foraged on the daisy and collected pollen her colony. The pollen will provide not only protein, but minerals and vitamins for the developing larvae.
Honey bee expert Norman Gary, emeritus professor of apiculture at the University of California, Davis and the author of Honey Bee Hobbyist: the Care and Keeping of Bees, says that during an entire year, "a typical bee colony gathers and consumes 77 pounds of pollen."
That's a lot of pollen! This little bee (below) did her part.
Honey bee foraging on a daisy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Orange pollen load, the color of autumn pumpkins. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Buzzing away, the honey bee leaves the daisy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
California peach blossoms are peachy keen.
Especially when honey bees are foraging.
The pink pastel blossoms, powder blue sky, and golden honey bees...yes, California peach orchards are blooming.
Is it too soon to think about peach cobbler?
Honey Bee and Bumble Bee
Carpenter bees pack pollen, too.
A carpenter bee (Xylocopa tabaniformis orpifex) visiting our gaura last weekend was packing bright yellow pollen, a sharp contrast against her black body.
Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis, said that "the large triangular pollen grains of this and other Onagraceae are held together in strings by viscin threads. You can see this on the anther above the bee’s head. This makes it a challenge for some bees to neatly pack this pollen, but helps pollen to get draped on the plant stigma."
The UC Davis Department of Entomology website includes information on three species of carpenter bees commonly found in California.
Honey bees don’t like tulips, right?
You don't plant tulips to attract bees, and you don't attract bees with tulips.
They prefer such bee friendly plants as lavender, salvia, catmint, sedum, cherry laurels and tower of jewels—not to mention fruit, almond and vegetable blossoms.
But last weekend, a lone bee—probably a confused lone bee—buzzed around our tulips in the back yard and then dropped inside to roll in the pollen.
She stayed inside the tulip for about five minutes. When she emerged, a layer of gold dust clung to her.
Bees don't like tulips? This one did!
Bee on Tulip
Rolling in the Pollen
The honey bees are hungry.
There are fewer flowers blooming this time of the year, so the bees are foraging for what they can.
This morning the bees were all over the lavender (Lavandula) in our yard. One bee, packing red pollen (probably from rock purslane), glided in, strapped herself to the lavender, and sipped the nectar from a floral "cup."
The bees are a little testy this time of the year. They're foraging for their winter stores as the days grow colder and shorter and the floral supply fades. "Honey bees don't forage when it is cool, below around 50 degrees," says bee breeder-geneticist Kim Fondrk of the University of California, Davis.
To help support the declining bee population, it's crucial to offer the bees a year-around food supply, and that's exactly what the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the UC Davis, will do. A public open house is scheduled June 19.
Meanwhile, it was Red Letter Day today as the pollen-packing bee made her rounds.
Packing Red Pollen
Red Tongue, Red Pollen