A non-threatening water source for bees
Several years ago I planted lamb’s ear to attract wool carder bees. I wanted to get pictures of the bees collecting fibers, but so far, I haven’t seen a single taker. Instead, the wool carders stay on the lemon balm.
However, every morning the honey bees congregate on the lamb’s ear to drink the condensation that forms on the leaves. I think of it as a non-threatening water source because the bees can’t drown in it or get washed downstream. Instead, they stand safely on the dense pad of fibers and slurp the drops. On some mornings, the plant is loaded with honey bees tanking up for the day.
Yesterday I caught this young honey bee having a drink. When I see the texture of the leaf and the crystalline drops of dew, I can almost feel the chilly morning air. I also like that I can see her hairy eyeballs, proboscis, corbicula, and pollen press. Honey bees are just too cool.