Monday, July 6, 2015

Thirsty Bees in the Drought

It's hot and dry out there, and I have observed honeybees desperately seeking moisture. One worker bee followed me as I picked raspberries and sipped up the juice left behind on the nubs of the berries. I also saw bees mingling with wasps as they sipped drops of water from a drip hose on the sidewalk. Please remember to put out a shallow bowl of water with rocks, marbles, twigs, or corks to help the bees from falling in and drowning.

I found this male wool carder bee spending the night hugging a stalk of lavender. What a beautiful bed! He's done this for at least two nights and the first night he was biting into a lavender bud to help him hold on while he snoozed after a long day of sex and drinking. Those long hairs are a bit of a mystery, since he doesn't collect pollen.

I also saw this large leafcutter bee foraging in nasturtiums. Note the long nectar tubes in the flower you can see on the right of the flower--perfect for hummingbirds and long-tongued bees. Remember to give flowering plants water during the drought so they can produce nectar. Skip watering the lawn and pamper your flowers instead.

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