insects (7)

Bees Gathering Pollen From Opium Poppies


Two videos of bees gathering pollen from opium poppy + photo of pollen “saddlebag” on bee’s leg in upper right; bees gather pollen and nectar in pellets on their legs for transport back to hives.

I had five bee colonies in ’70s, ’80s, and they are utterly fascinating; the species has been around for 25 million years.
Don’t get me started talking about the brilliance of their societies!

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Swarm of Bees


Swarm of bees this afternoon. Beekeeper Albie came over, suited up, went up a ladder with a box, Evan tugged on a rope under the swarm and they dropped into the box, Albie has another colony.

Bees swarm when the colony gets crowded. They will create a new queen and the old queen will leave with half the colony, seeking another nesting place. Bees fill up with honey for their departure, and are mellow when swarming. Bees are an 85-million-year-old species; their MO fascinating.

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Miracle in the Garden This Morning

Lesley’s been watching the chrysalis every day. She just came in to tell me it had emerged when I was on an important phone call so I handed Evan my iPhone and he shot the pic. Note the shell of the chrysalis at right; how did the butterfly ever fit in that small enclosure? Stunning, and it’s the kind of thing that’s going on in the natural world every moment. As Leonard Cohen says, halleluja!

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