Bumble Bees

bumblebeelavender

Bumble bees, native to the United States, not like the humble honey bee that was imported in the 1600s from Europe are in danger. As with all 250 species of bees, they are in dire trouble and dying off. That is why I delight when my backyard is a bevy of buzz with all types of bees. I try and plant as many bee friendly plants as possible.

A bumble bee is differentiated from the carpenter bee by having a fuzzy, hairy body. They live in underground colonies, and die in the winter, except the queen. The wings beat 130 times a second. They pollinate plants that are eaten by humans, birds and insects, like cotton, apples, cherries and tomatoes. Unlike the aggressive yellow jackets, they will not attract and sting you. While I took the photo, they were all oblivious to me, intent on the lavender.

Plant native plants in your backyard and leave empty underground nests that have been vacated by rodents free for them. And of course plant more bee friendly plants in your yard. And please don’t use chemicals, your plants love coffee grounds and your roses will flourish with them.

friendly pollinators, bumble bees

September is still colorful in my backyard. Bees and hummers are visiting all the fall blooms. My cardinal vine is full of trumpet blooms that are being frequented by ruby throated hummingbirds the only hummingbird that nests in Georgia. We have 11 species of humming birds in Georgia. Bumble bees are gentle creatures and do not swarm nor are they aggressive. Unlike honey bees they do not have a colony. Bumble bees pollinate tomatoes, strawberries, orchards and sweet peppers to name a few. Their only enemy is a human and its chemicals.

wander