Posts Tagged: pollen
Pollen-packing honey bees dangling from gaura (Gaura linheimeri) are a joy to photograph.
Gaura, native to Louisiana, Texas and Mexico, is a long-stemmed plant with a burst of pinkish-white petals that resemble whirling butterflies.
A member of the Onagraceae family (think primroses, fireweed and fuchsias), it's a perennial that needs little care.
Gaura! Gaura! Gaura!
Honey Bee on Gaura
Quick! How many legs does a honey bee have?
If you said "three pairs" or "six legs," you'd bee right.
But have you ever noticed the honey bee in flight?
The worker bee packs pollen in her pollen baskets or corbiculae, located on the midsegments of her outer hind legs.
The legs are fringed with long, curved hairs that hold the pollen in place. Once she's gathered pollen, she moves it to the pollen press located between the two largest segments of the hind leg.
The pollen press basically presses the pollen into pellets.
Sometimes the pollen load looks as big as a beach ball and you wonder how she can carry that load back to the hive.
But she does.
The bee with the huge pollen load below is one of Susan Cobey's bees. She's a UC Davis bee breeder-geneticist and manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
It’s like going to the circus.
A bee circus.
When you see honey bees gather pollen from a gaura (Gaura linheimeri), it’s as if they ran off and joined the circus. You'll see hire-wire (er...high-stem) acts, somersaults, pirouettes, cartwheels and cliffhangers.
They teeter on the edge of a petal and then petal-push to the other side. They buzz upside down and then right themselves. They're under the Big Top and then varoom, they've over it.
The gaura, a leggy perennial, is a native of North America and a member of the Onagraceae family. Its butterflylike flowers, pink and white, are drop-dead gorgeous.
The gaura is also known as "the wand flower," "the butterfly bush" and "the bee blossom."
In our bee friendly garden, it will forever be "the circus flower."/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>
Ah, a gaura!
Under the Big Top