Monday, June 27, 2005

Pollination, and Other Bee Leisure Time Activities

 Posted by Hello

Well, now that I'm getting used to having foxglove blooming on an annual basis, this second year has brought an interesting observation. Last year, I remember seeing a big bumbly bee making his way in ungainly bumblebee fashion from blossom to blossom on the foxglove plants.

And then I watched the bee climb into the lowest (and oldest) of the blossoms on the stalk, which then broke free and spiralled to the ground, bringing the bee along with it. At the time, I guess I bought into the idea that this silly fat bee had gotten himself a big surprise...but having seen exactly the same thing again this year, I'm now wondering if maybe this is how daredevil bees relax. I mean, gathering nectar for honey is nice work if you can get it, but it may not be all that exciting. So maybe foxgloves are just Six Flags For Bees.

Or I suppose the bees are just playing into the foxgloves' whole plan for world conquest, as each blossom that falls scatters a nice assortment of foxglove seeds for new plants...and so the colonies expand.

In any event, it sure is nice to see so many visitors to the garden each day...the bees, the flies, the ants, the bluetip needle flies, dragonflies, lightning bugs (no evening displays yet, but I've seen them around the Green), and more recently, butterflies...even the June bugs have made what feels like a last minute appearance in the last day or so.

Not sure yet if that's thyme or oregano this butterfly is resting on, nor for that matter have I taken the time to identify the species yet. But it makes me feel good about the garden to see them all each day. Things must be working the way they're supposed to.
 Posted by Hello

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