It’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.
Posts Tagged 'bees'
Tags: bees, dragonflies, insects, invertebrates, spiders, Texas
Walking Stick on Peter’s bins. Texas has at least 16 species. Leaf-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.Thornbush Dasher (Micrathyria hagenii).Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata).Antlion. This is the adult stage.We saw many antlion traps, where buried nymphs wait for their lunch to fall down into the soft sand pits. Large Carpenter bee of some kind in the bottlebrush. Texan Crescents (Anthanassa texana) perpetuating the species.
Tags: bees, birds, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, insects
The 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.The top, for instance, is a great place for birds to perch, chew the fat (worm, berry) and, obviously, poop.The 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.This fungus is right at home here, indeed, inseparable.And 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.
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, flowers, insects
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, insects, invertebrates
By which I mean a chilly morning, according to bumble bee standards. Burly little things, they warm themselves up by muscular action on chilly spring mornings, getting the jump on other pollinators who are smaller and more solar-powered. This looks like a Bombus impatiens, which, for all I know, is how you look on Monday mornings, too.
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, insects, invertebrates, trees
Yesterday morning around 10, it was under 60F and cloudy. The bumblebees were not quite warmed up. Some didn’t move at all, others were quite sluggish. Burly little things, with lots of muscle, which is one of the reasons they are one of the first flying bugs in the spring. They can warm themselves up by disjointing their wings and shaking themselves warm. They were flying by noon, and working the goldenrod. It was a late start to a fall day. I led some enthusiastic BBP volunteers — very enthusiastic, they were volunteering to weed afterwards — around Pier 1, looking for animals. A mouse was unexpected. Northern Flickers kept zooming around; they are passing through now in a crowd, flashing their yellow underwings in undulating flights. The milkweed beetles were in their scrums. A good bit of warbler activity, but mostly after the walk; everybody needed to warm up, it seems.
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, dragonflies, insects, ladybugs, wasps
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s horticulturalist Rebecca McMackin told me recently that she consciously works to create habitat. The proof is in the animals: Spot-winged glider (Pantala hymenaea), a new species for me.
A reader of this blog, in private conversation, noted how the carrion beetle thing yesterday was a little queasy, but I personally find these lady bug larva the most daunting of insect forms. Fast, furious devourers; clearly the model for the thing they put in Pavel Chekov’s ear. Digger wasp (Scolia dubia), another of the blue/black-winged wasps. (I was looking at some crows up close recently and they have a similar blue-purple iridescence.) Very distinctive yellow spots and red hairs on abdomen. About an inch long. Deserves another view:Bumblebee, butt-up in bindweed. (Bindweed is generally freelance habitat, and this was winding up some fencing unbidden by the hard-working staff.)
BBP is now just over two years old. All my BBP posts are here in chronological order.
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, flowers
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, insects, invertebrates, wasps
Last weekend, I visited the Flatbush Gardener’s garden. The highlight was the mountain mint, alive with pollinators. I mean, jumping with pollinators: several species of bees, wasps, flies, and butterflies going at it. Here are a couple of the highlights:
Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus.One of the grass-carrying wasps of genus Isodontia.
Cuckoo bee, Triepeolus lunatus.
Notice the purple markings on the tiny flowers of this mint. I imagine those looks spectacular to those creatures, like these, can can see into the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum.
Thanks to my host Chris for the identifications on these. Check out his Flickr for more shots of the wide, wonderful world of pollinators he’s found in his portion of backyard Brooklyn. (In my next couple of posts, I’ll continue on this hymenoptera kick.)
Tags: bees, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, insects, invertebrates, wasps
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.