A Favorite Bee Day for me and the Bees

This is a pretty good day for a couple of reasons (in addition to the fact that it was finally warmisher): First, our first hive came back last night from the wilds of the California almond orchards. JodyBees brought one of three or four over to the buffet. She says they’re well and healthy. And it tickles me to no end to have the little ones back in the yard. And, second, the Grape Hyacynths have started to throw pollen. I have so very many “favorite” spring bulbs (is this on a corm??), but the grapies (as I call them) could be my favorite favorite favorite. Plus, if purple had a smell, these little flowers would smell purple. I just love them. So here’s a welcome-back bee on a purple-smelling blossom. It’s a good day.

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Another on the White Rock Cress

I don’t love going to the same flower on back-to-back days. But…you have to go where the bees are. Turned out there was a grape hyacinth in the background. Looks a little contrived with it that centered, but it’s what nature does sometimes. Like the attitude of the bee’s wings in this one. And of course the detail on her face.

Lots of bee-generated irises blooming. Look for those “beebabies” over the next few days. There are a couple that are really spectacular. Nature is…wonderful – leaving me full of wonder.

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Special One: Digger Bee

Here’s one I have not shot before – or cannot remember having shot before. This one is a bouncy bee – so at first I thought it was one of those hairy flies that mimic. Digger bees are hard to shoot because they fly really erratically and seldom stay in one place for very long – and they seem to be rare around here. I think this one is a female because they’re supposed to be hairier. And I can’t imagine a bee hairier than this one. Check out the hair on the ends of her middle leg. Really great bee!

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Still with the Grape Hyacinths

Strange spring. So very dry. Cold, too. And that wind. Can never remember such a sustained thing. More than two weeks – almost three – with monster gusts and steady wind. And the bees… Seven fruit trees in bloom as well as an ornamental cherry – yet the bees seem disinterested, mostly, in much but the grape hyacinths. And even then just a few. Have to shoot where the bees are. So here’s another. Really, it’s a neat shot. She looks great and the in-flight ones are so much fun for me when I catch one right. And I do love the grapies.

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Lots of Pollen on this Tongue

Too cold to shoot yesterday (at least according to the bees), so this one’s from the day before. Again, on the grape hyacinth. I chose this one from several others because of the tongue. You can see it’s filthy with pollen. Great look at the flower, too, and the rest of the bee.

Also have a look at the pollen basket on the left rear leg. It’s out of focus, but the color of the pollen is different from the pollen on the tongue. Not sure what she’d been in to earlier, but I’d like to know. The pollen baskets with two different colors – and the transition between – is an interesting thing. If I run across that, I’ll post it. Happens occasionally.

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Honeybee on the Grape Hyacinths

Finally a current bee! Only found a few minutes to shoot yesterday and it was later in the day, but I was able to catch this one in the grape hyacinths (known as grapies around here). These little flowers seem to be indomitable. The pop up in the lawn, cracks in the sidewalk, vacant lots, and even up in meadows on the mountain. I like them lots…and they smell good, too.

Besides being a good look at a side view of, two things about this picture are noteworthy. First, that really light yellow pollen is from the grape hyacinths. I’d have expected purple, but what do I know? The second is that good look at the tarsals – the toes or claws on the bee. Three of them at the end of each leg. Super-effective. Oh, and for no reason at all, note that the grapies open from the bottom up – a little shriveled at the bottom, just opening where the bee is at work, and closed just above her. Not surprising, but neat.

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Honeybee in Flight – Destination: Muscari

Wish the detail in the wing were more pronounced, but a nice shot of a beautiful bee moving from flower to flower. Best year that I can remember for the Grape Hyacinth (Muscari). They hit their peak a couple of days ago (you can see them fading a little on the bottoms). One of my spring favorites. And they smell so good.

Mowed my neighbor’s lawn yesterday and I have to confess that I skipped a corner onto which the muscari had marched. Really fond of the little things.

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