Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Janustory Day 10
Janustory Day 10: Bumblebees are terrifyingly gigantic from a tiny brown ant’s perspective.
Bees. Magical, mystical, sometimes scary, sometimes silly, essential insect. Bumblebees are one of our native bees and are necessary pollinators in the garden. You can pet them if you're careful and they are busy harvesting nectar. I grow Dodecatheon meadia or shooting star just for the early bumbles. It's one of their favorites. I try to take some time in the summer and watch the bees in the raingarden. Because it is filled with flowers, primarily native, it is literally always buzzing. The bumbles have figured out that it is infinitely easier to slit the base of the floret on Monarda sp. or beebalm and sip the nectar from there. Even for long tongued bees, beebalm can be a challenge. Within this garden we have enjoyed welcoming new species of bees, flies, and wasps. These predators are making a difference in my pest insect population to the point I don't use insecticides. (That is until something like viburnum beetle turns up and that you do have to treat aggressively.) Anyway, I can only imagine the ant's perspective of a giant rumbling bumblebee paying a call to its flower. The quake it must cause in that tiny world!