Pollinators

I took a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday afternoon. It was very windy, which made photographing flying insects quite a challenge. I saw my first Monarch butterflies of the year, as well as an American Lady. Black Saddlebags dragonfly. Great Northern Bumblebee (amongst a host of small, medium, and large bumblebees I am otherwise unable to figure out). And these, identified with some help from Bugguide.net, with the cavet that a lot of these things are hard to pin down unless they’re pinned down, and at Backyard and Beyond we don’t do that: Genus Megachile, a leaf-cutting bee.
The metallic “sweat bees” of the family Halictidae often only have green heads and thoraxes, like the one below, but the one above was green from top to bottom. Quite a looker.They are called “sweat bees” called because they like human sweat. I’ve never experienced one interested in my sweat.Above and below, sand wasps of the Bembicini tribe. These make shallow nests in sand, and provision their larvae with flies of various kinds. Like many of the wasps that kill for their young, they themselves eat nectar and pollen as adults.
Yes, that’s a greenish tinge to the eyes.
This one was rubbing its limbs busily against the top of this wooden post. Only after looking at the photo did I notice that there are tiny little tags attached to the legs. These are pollinia, pairs of waxy pollen bundles attached by a fiendishly sticky thread, produced by milkweed flowers. Swamp milkweed in this case. Read more about the fascinating milkweeds here. The threads can attach to the mouthparts of some bees.

I ran into someone photographing a Red Admiral. It was my fellow nature blogger Julie, of Urban Wildlife Guide. We both admired all the native plantings and the pollinators they attracted and saluted the hard-working gardening team at the park.

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1 Response to “Pollinators”


  1. 1 lolasanrose June 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    i on the other hand, know of sweat bees. I lived in Centerville, Tennessee, for awhile and there were sweat bees. They hurt. ;-)


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