This shot is probably a lot less about the bee and more about the beauty and complexity of the hens & chicks blossoming. Apparently, aficionados aren’t all that fond of the blooms – they tend to like the rosettes better and often see the blooms as an annoyance. But…the leafcutters especially like them – notsomuch the honeybees, but there are pollinators on them when they do bloom. And I’m a big fan. Really like the shapes they make.
This one’s from late July of 2020. Really busy shot, but lots of neat colors. And I really like the hens & chicks blossoms. And when they fade, their stalks and dried-up flowers leave really great shapes in the gardens.
The honeybees don’t seem too interested in the hens & chicks, but the wool carder bees and the leafcutters do battle over their pollen and nectar. Rough to get good shots of them, though. They’re really fast and they don’t stay in once place for very long.
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.
I think this one is a non-native. It’s really rude, generally. Knocks other bees offa blossoms – a lot. And tries to breed with everyone – irrespective of gender or species. But really neat looking!
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.