Back-end up Bee at the Ogden (Utah) Botanical Gardens

This might be a better illustration of what I described a couple of days ago. Pollenbutt, too.

Yesterday, on the way back from errands, I stopped at the Ogden Botanical Gardens to shoot some bees. Really like the place. While there is a skeleton full-time staff directing the enterprise, much of the work on the upkeep is done by volunteers.

The other neat thing about it is that it’s free – and open from sunup to sunset. In my travels, I often look for municipal/public gardens. Normally, there’s a cost to enter – and lately, with the covids, you have to make an appointment to enter. Not so here. If you’re in the Ogden area, a visit is worth the time. You’ll be well rewarded.

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Mesa Peach back at it!

Not tons of action on this one this Summer that I’ve seen – which is surprising. It’s a little random/scattered/ununiform (that’s a terrible unword) because the larkspurs were blocking the light somewhat. So the blanket flower had to get a little trickier and taller. The larkspurs are gone mostly and I hope it kind of settles in again.

The bee is super. Shot yesterday. Great resolution on the eye, pollen on the face, and an archetypal pose for this one. Not sure why, but this particular species likes to raise its abdomen way up. Reminds me of those grand old American boats from the late 60s/early 70s that I saw in demolition derbies as a kid. When they got rear-ended, sometimes the whole back end would fold up at a 45 degree angle. Clearly digressing now, but maybe more than fitting – in that these guys often crash into each others back ends. More of that impoliteness. Too much nonsensical narrative. Here’s the bee:

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Colors and the Agastache

Another shot of the impolite bee – as described a time or two previously. But a really neat shot if only for the colors. That orange/yellow color in the background is distant daylilies. Neat wings on this one. Amazes me that they remain effective. Also you can see the three, simple eyes (occelli) on the top of its head (in addition to the two compound eyes on either side). Plus just a titch of beeneck which always delights me.

These bees are tough to shoot because they don’t stick around and feed for very long. They seem more interested in being pugnacious, territorial, and………….”pollinating” – irrespective of gender/species. We have an unrepeatable-in-polite-company name for this particular bee around here. If you use your imagination, I’m sure you’ll get close to the local moniker.

In other news, the mostly-reliable spellcheck in my browser thinks that “agastache” really should be spelled “stagecoach”. Very nearly works for me…

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Twofer (almost) – on the Angelina (Sedum)

One of my very, very favorite plants in the garden. A ground cover – Sedum Angelina (I think). Neat little succulent that starts yellow, but ends up with pinks, reds, greens, etc.

One of the reasons it’s so great is that it’s really aggressive – truly covers the ground. But aggressive isn’t always a good thing if you can’t get rid of whatever it is that’s aggressive – if you need to. But the Angelina is really easy to “weed” – to keep in check. Comes out really easily (for transplanting, I’d hope – giving to neighbors – whatever) and isn’t at all obnoxious that way. Blooms once a year and the pollinators seem to like it. The blossoms are so small that the bees don’t stick around long so it’s tough to get a shot, but…

Anyway, fantastic plant. Pretty, aggressive, yet manageable. Get it.

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Overtime 033-050 – I give up!!

Getting late. Wanted to finish posting these. But it’s not going to happen today unless I do it this way. So I think the final tally will be: 150 bee shots, 10 or so bonus (quasi-) pollinator shots, and one beebaby iris shot.

Here are the rest of ’em:

Rude one on a Semp – those mandibles!!!! Stuff of nightmares?
Sweat Bee on a Hyacinth
And the Liatris…
Beeneck…and those eyes.
Oh, those pollen buckets!
Brown-belted on a Sunflower…again
Escaping the Tulip
The Cone Flower rides again…or maybe…it’s the one being ridden?
Not Quite the Last Aster
Great face on that huntii
Tiny, tiny, tiny one with two tulips.
The last of the sedums
Approaching the Liatris to reload
The last Russian Sage
The last Cone Flower
Hard to believe, but the last aster. It also occurs to me that everyone will be viewing this backward to how I posted it. So prepare yourself – many more asters to follow!
Fantastic Agastache
The last of the last of the last – from the third swarm (May 2020). Phew!!
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Bee 083 – Another Rude One

Here’s another variety of the rude, crash-into-everyone, mate-with-everyone bees. This particular variety seems exceptionally fond of the Semp blossoms. They’re small, thick, and fast. And they don’t stay on the flowers for very long. Invasive and rude. But I kinda like them anyway. Hard not to admire their hubris and bullet-proof sense that they have about them. I’m clearly mapping human qualities onto them, but…it’s what we do.

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From the Family Megachilidae

Megachilidae – unsure of genus/species – on a Sempervivum bud

I’m not much of a taxonomist yet. Just a guy with some cameras. But I suspect I’ll get better with that over time. This one is some kind of Megachilidae for sure – unsure of genus/species. I’m pretty certain this little one is female (check out her left rear-most leg and notice the corbiculae – the pollen basket. Males don’t have those.). She’s on a Sempervivum (commonly known as Hens and Chicks) bud. Yep, the semps bloom. And they can be beautiful.

This particular bee is really territorial – downright ornery. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been lining up a shot of one bee or another on some blossom and one of these guys has bombed, full speed, into my intended subject. And not to be indelicate (cover the kids’ eyes, please), but the males of this species are, um, pretty adept at non-consensual birds-and-bees stuff – both on an intra- and inter-species level.

Kevin Vaughn has written a very worthwhile book on Hens and Chicks. It’s really accessible and is a good, instructive read if you’re interested in these amazing plants: Sempervivum: A Gardener’s Perspective of the Not-So-Humble Hens-and-Chicks (That’s an amazon link, but any bookseller can order it for you.) They’re really neat little plants and over time you’ll see a number of them in my photographs here.

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