Posts Tagged 'bees'


BombusBombusThis large, handsome bumble bee was thoroughly probing the Hostas in Green-Wood. BombusNow, I find bumblebee identification difficult. There are four or five species that have yellow abdomen, and none of them are commonly seen here. I narrowed it down to Bombus pensylvanicus or B. borealis (but we are a bit south of its range) or B. fervidus.

The Xerces Society’s pdf “Bumble Bees of the Eastern U.S.“, for instance, assumes you have a specimen under a microscope. “Midleg basitarus with distal posterior corner sharply pointed” runs a typical line. I have a field guide… uh, somewhere, so that’s no help. Finally, I submitted one of these pictures to and the verdict was Bombus fervidus, Great Northern Bumble Bee.

After barely a summer

BombusDeath among the asters.Bombus


Tyrannus tyrannusAn Eastern Kingbird in Green-Wood. Flying insect eaters, Kingbirds will bank and swerve like crazy while attempting to get at bugs making evasive maneuvers. Tyrannus tyrannusHere’s a big bee who didn’t escape.

Pollen Bumble Rumble

bombusFlying between these absurdly large flowers of hybrid rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), this bumblebee was practically glowing yellow from all the pollen.bombusBut note how the wings remain mostly clean. Bees are hairy, the hairs statically charged to help pollen stick to them. Of course, you wouldn’t want your wings to be laden with pollen or anything else when you fly.

Some Pollinators

p1p2p3p4It’s National Pollinator Week, but we should be thanking the bees — and other pollinators — every day for the work that they do. And fighting like the dickens the exterminationists of the agribusiness/pesticide complex.

TX Insects

HeteronemiidaeWalking Stick on Peter’s bins. Texas has at least 16 species. AttaLeaf-cutter ant (Atta texana) highway. The ants are returning to their sprawling underground colonies with leaf fragments, which, farmer-like, they feed to the fungus they actually eat.Micrathyria hageniiThornbush Dasher (Micrathyria hagenii).Erythrodiplax umbrataBand-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata).MyrmeleontidaeAntlion. This is the adult stage.antlionsWe saw many antlion traps, where buried nymphs wait for their lunch to fall down into the soft sand pits. txt6Large Carpenter bee of some kind in the bottlebrush. Anthanassa texanaTexan Crescents (Anthanassa texana) perpetuating the species.

Dead Wood?

post2The fence posts in Brooklyn Bridge Park are made from Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a durable, naturally rot-resistant wood. Of course, like anything in a natural environment, even one as heavily managed as this, it will end up having more than a single, intended purpose.post3The top, for instance, is a great place for birds to perch, chew the fat (worm, berry) and, obviously, poop.post4The wood itself is home. I saw an unidentified insect — something Diptera or Hymenoptera — crawl into the hole on the left of this knot. I waited a while, but nothing emerged, so the mystery about what is nesting here remains.post5This fungus is right at home here, indeed, inseparable.post1And even busy bees need to rest every once and a while… this Megachilidae leaf-cutter is pausing on her way back to her nest with one of the ovals of fresh leaf she has chewed out. She’ll use this as lining in her nest. I’ve seen these types of bees before (you can’t see it here, but they collect pollen under their abdomen); I’ve seen their cut-outs on leaf margins; but this was the first time I’ve seen one of the bees with a piece of leaf, work in hand(s), as it were.


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