Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fennel Delights

The bumble bees and leaf cutters are frantically excited about the bee balm and they keep circling the blossoms over and over again for the nectar.

A friend gave me this lovely gentian plant from her garden. I feel honored to have something so beautiful in our back yard.

The honey bees love the fennel and at mid day it is covered in all sorts of insects.

The fennel plant is just next to the hive so they don't have very far to go for it.

Look at that behemoth of a sunflower. It's a volunteer from last year.

I fill these shells at the edge of my garden so the insects can drink from them. Here is a yellow jacket taking a sip.

J and I did a hive check today, but first we did the grisly job of uncapping dead drone larva that we had put in the freezer to kill mites. The wasps have been carrying off the few corpses that I left behind. The bees are cleaning out the dead and chucking them out of the front of the hive now and the wasps are fighting over them. They take the corpses back to their nests for their brood. Wasps are carnivorous when young, and adult wasps live off sugary liquids, including nectar, baby wasp puke and lemonade.

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