While it’s true that this one is not native, I’m kind of fond of it. The males are a little bigger than the females and are pretty nutty when it comes to being territorial. They’re really fond of the hens and chicks (sempervivum) blossoms…and really do have that “birds and bees” drive pretty deeply seeded in them, as it were. They’re a little rough to photograph for two reasons. First, they don’t often stay long on a single blossom. So if I’m not quick, they’re gone before I can click. And, second, they don’t fly as predictably as the honey bees or the bumbles. They’re more like hummingbirds in their randomness. But they’re really neat looking…especially their eyes. And the pinks and greens of the hens and chicks make for some nice shots. Oh, and please ignore that black cat hair there in the bottom of the pic. The cats seem to own the semp beds around here.
This one is a little obnoxious to look at. But seldom do I get two in focus. And never two wool carder bees. They’re so quick and don’t sit long. More pink and green. Seems to be a theme this year. And try not to notice the cat hair in the middle of the shot. The cats seem to think that the semp beds are their own domain.
This bee has a lot of nicknames around here – all of them unprintable. Really territorial, aggressive little thing. Especially the males. But this is a neat shot of a male in flight. Look closely at that neat eye on him.
First, check out the little photobomber there below (and to the right of) the bee. Always so much going on. Lots of varieties of hens and chicks (sempervivum) in our gardens – from all over the world. They throw up bloomstalks once a year – and it’s usually the wool carder bees (and sometimes a particular leafcutter) that get excited about them – so seldom the bumbles. This variety of semp’s flowers are a little different and the bumbles seem drawn to it. Great profile shot of this one.
As far as semp blossoms go, this is a strange one. It doesn’t open nearly as far and the bees spend very little time on any one blossom. It’s also such a light color compared – so it always looks a little blown out in the photos. Its texture is different, too…thicker and less delicate. But it seems to be throwing pollen now and the bumbles enjoy it. Guess that’s another difference, too, in that the bumbles spend little to no time on the other types of semps.
From yesterday evening…dusk. Tuns out yesterday was a pretty long day. And dusk was pretty late! Go figure…
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!