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Soggy start, sunshiny end

Town Hall woke up bright and early this Saturday– or at least those of us left, since four of us are traveling this weekend! We had intended to perform the steady treatment in the pulse-steady pollination experiment before it got too hot and the bees beat us to all the pollen, but the end of yesterday’s thunderstorm system was still rolling through Kensington and we decided to wait it out. After the rain let up we finally arrived at the plot but found neither pollen nor pollinators. We futilely scraped wet pollen out of anthers until deciding to return when the sun came out.

A little over an hour later it had become a gorgeous day, and we were greeted by insects of all kinds.

A ladybug trundles around a finished flowering head

Unfortunately the heavy rains and the cold front seem to have scrambled pollen production. The heads we bagged to harvest pollen from didn’t show signs of presenting pollen any time soon, and heads in P2 were lucky to have one or two anthers with pollen on them. We collected what data we could, but decided to hold off on pollination until tomorrow. Our expedition wasn’t for naught, however, because Miyauna found an Andrena nest!

Miyauna models with the bee hole she spotted a fluorescent-dyed female scrambling into!

We bagged a few more heads in the area around P2 so that tomorrow we’ll be able to harvest plenty of pollen. Though Miyauna found a tiny bee nest with ease, she was briefly puzzled when Avery disappeared into the prairie.

Miyauna briefly considers fluorescent dying Avery to keep track of her
Ren lends a helping eye and admires the beautiful weather

With Avery located, we headed back to Town Hall to nap and putter around doing chores. We celebrated the bee hole discovery by voyaging out to the DQ in Starbuck, which has the most charming signage and most savage mosquito population of any ice cream joint we’ve visited.

The employees took money and returned change with lightning speed to avoid inviting the bloodsuckers beyond their sliding window
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