In reality, these bees are ½ inch long, but click them, they get bigger. You can tell by the size of each individual flower of the umbels of the Allium. These guys are working machines gathering nectar and pollen. See the nectar drop on the bee nose or where a nose would be if they had one? Those antennae are gathering the “smell” data.
Oddly, I am not seeing as many bees as last year working the flowers. More were here earlier on the Muscari. Those bees had full pollen baskets. The garden is shown at the end of the post.
Last year was a good year for bees in my garden despite what Science reported, so I am hoping the bee activity picks up soon. Maybe 30-40 bees on the Allium, but that is not many comparatively to last year.
“Nearly one out of four American honeybee colonies died this winter — a loss that’s not quite as bad as recent years, says a new U.S. Department of Agriculture survey of beekeepers.” (source)
In 2006, more than a third of hives on average and up to 90 percent in some cases of hive bees were lost. Thank goodness for native bees, but even native bees are suffering losses too.
Science just reported in the May issue that, “current extinction rates are up to a thousand times higher than they would be if people weren’t in the picture.”
Was this actual news? Any doubt? Look at bee decline for example.
So many creatures are in peril it seems and the question becomes what do we save. Here is an interesting short article that addresses this question, “20,000 Species Are Near Extinction: Is it Time to Rethink How We Decide Which to Save?“.
Butterflies are not yet here in the garden, but I have seen a few on hikes.
Hummingbirds are here, but I have no fun photographing them at the feeders. I usually wait for their flowers to bloom for more challenge. Above was a very early evening, handheld shot, hence all the grain in the photo.
Sunny one minute, cloudy the next, it was one of those days.
Flies too, but there is no shortage of them. I doubt they will be on an endangered list.
This week I am off to find Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows with the Audubon Society. I hope those birders find the nesting sites. I never saw a Bobolink before and had to look up what they looked like. They are in the blackbird and oriole family. We might see meadowlark too from where we are going. That would be a nice bird to photograph in that bright yellow breast plumage.
The garden where the images were taken.
Birds love the Viburnum. Bees the Allium, hummingbirds the Verbena in the hanging baskets. They do drink from the Million Bells, but infrequently. Other pollinators like them though. I had them for many years in my garden because they are so easy to care for in drought.
Almost all purple, lavender and white now that the tulips and daffodils “melted” away in the heat. Pinks on the way… in peonies, and evening primrose, plus yellows show back up in Sun drops and early daylilies.
Usually the chives are filled with bees. Might be the late start to the bloom season here in WNY.
My garden transforms through the color wheel as the seasons transition. If I think about it and am not traveling, I will give a peek in posts coming up. I might tell you what the bees are harvesting too.
Are your bees up or down since last year, or is it too early to tell?