I often watch honey bees walking on the comb and wonder how they manage to keep all their feet out of the holes. On an empty comb, there are far more spaces than surfaces–and inside a hive it is totally dark and terribly crowded. Just another reason why bees are endlessly fascinating!
Many of our native pollinating insects are not bees. Included in this group are the hover flies, also known as syrphid flies, flower flies, or drone flies. These are true flies—in the order Diptera—and they are easily recognized by their ability to hold a seemingly motionless position in the air. Some of the hover flies […] Read more
Sweat bees are small bees usually about 1/4- to 1/2-inch long (0.6-1.3 cm). Their common name refers to the fact that they are attracted to the salt in human sweat. In the United States, sweat bees are usually brown, black, red, or metallic green.They are the most common type of bee in the whole northern […] Read more
A friend of mine from the east coast wrote to straighten me out on bumble bees. He said that when he used to till his fields, he would occasionally disturb a bumble bee nest. The bumble bees would react to this intrusion by attacking and stinging. So there you go, I do know someone who […] Read more
When you run a website like mine you get to see a daily report of what people typed in the little search box that landed them on your site. This is anonymous—it’s just a list of phrases—but it’s fascinating. Every day I get dozens of these entries—misspellings and all—that show what was on someone’s mind […] Read more
Dear Readers, Almost every day I read something like this: “One third of all the food we eat is pollinated by bees.” I just read it again today–twice. Some say “every third bite” which sounds like volume; some say “one-third of all crops” which sounds like a species count. Please tell me about this one […] Read more
In case you haven’t heard about it, The Great Sunflower Project is an on-going survey of pollinators in North America that uses “citizen scientists” to collect and submit data about pollinators. Each participant receives seeds for a particular variety of sunflower (Lemon Queen) which can be planted where he or she lives, works, or plays. […] Read more