Monday, July 10, 2006

Napping bumblebee

Hal Borland says the bumblebee is "an exponent of the easy life and an example of moderation in most matters" - they are somewhat social, occasionally will collect honey to store in waxen jugs, and are generally even-tempered and not likely to sting. Being long-tongued bees they are able to pollinate clover and alfalfa and will often nest nearby or in old field-mouse dens. In my yard they favor the swamp milkweed (pictured above), bee balm, and later in the season the Joe Pye Weed. Last summer a bumblebee colony was very active beneath one of the pieces of slate near the entrance to the pond - I often sat nearby and watched their comings and goings. On very hot days, groups of bumblebees were found at the various entrance tunnels fanning their wings to keep the colony below cool. Early in the evening today many were napping. Hanging upside down beneath a milkweed blossom or under the big leaves of a pokeweed plant.


bev wigney said...

Wonderful observations and photo of the bumblebee! It seems few people notice sleepy bees resting beneath or inside flowers.

LauraHinNJ said...

Yeah - I like bees. Would love to try keeping them someday.