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Bees Bees Bees

Today was the first day of Team Echinacea’s pollinator observations!  A number of genera were tentatively  identified, including a number of small black bees and Agapostemon.  As I sat in the field today, I encountered a pair of mating bees (picture below) on an Echinacea head.

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Pair of unknown bees mating on an Echinacea head while the female forages.

The female’s scopae were chock full of pollen, and it was a great way to start this season’s pollinator observations!  I also saw a few bumblebees today, buzzing around but not visiting Echinacea heads.  All around, it was a great day of observations.  On my last few observations, I came across a pretty big bug.  It decided to chill out on my arm for a while until I finally finished my last observation and returned to the Hjelm house for lunch.

A Big 'ol bug (of unknown species) who decided to take up residence on my arm for a while this morning.

A Big ‘ol bug (of unknown species) who decided to take up residence on my arm for a while this morning.

It was interesting to note that many observers noticed that as the day wore on, more and more pollen was (presumably) collected by pollinators until there was a time when little to no pollen was able to be observed on Echinacea, and after this time pollinator observations were few and far between.  This seemed to happen even at Landfill (where I was located), even though there were a relatively greater number of flowering pollinators than at some smaller sites.  It was also interesting that though there were relatively more flowering plants, there were fewer pollinator observations at Landfill than at some of the smaller fragments.

I can’t wait to continue pollinator observations in the near future, and to observe the changes in pollinator diversity as the Echinacea flowering season continues!

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1 comment to Bees Bees Bees

  • Lea Richardson

    Interesting ideas being explored! I think it will also be neat to see if the pollinator community varies at all with the size of the remnant.

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