Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nature's Amazing Photo-Ops

I had planned, for today, to do an update on the fiber piece I was working on with the marbled flowers; had taken photos, everything so I could sit and post.
Then I decided to wander around the flowers a bit to see what was still in bloom and if anything interesting had opened. And I looked at these Lemon Lilies and thought they were full of Japanese Beetles, the scourge of the gardeners world. I shook one of the flowers, and to my surprise, it was not the offensive beetles at all, but BEES! And not just one lily blossom, all of them along my drive that were this shade of yellow or a darker chrome yellow.
Well, I was thrilled, as I have never witnessed this behaviours in bees before and so I trotted in for the camera to record it. The insects were completely non plussed. They kept in the flowers, moved slowly, made no attempt to run me off. (which probably is a very good thing as I am not yet quite at the running stage.....)
Over and over they would crawl around the inner cup of the flower, occasionally peeking out but not leaving, as is evidenced in this close up.

If any of you who might happen to read this know anything of this strange behaviour, I would love to hear about it! I have gardened for more years than I care to put into cyber-space and have never seen this!
Bees are magnificent creatures, and it is a miracle I have not ended up in the hospital from examining them close up, coaxing them into my hands, holding them and placing them in flowers when they have been stunned. My grandfather kept bees, and I guess that somewhere deep inside, I would like to do that too.
In the meantime, I'll let the lilies do it for me. ;-)
P.S. I discovered last evening through an e-mail that the white stole I had worked on (yesterdays post) was finished just in time---it will be worn during a wedding ceremony today! How cool!!!


Val May said...

Anne, my dad kept bees too while I was in high school; him and mom both loving honey, especially on biscuits with breakfast. The thing I know is that yellow is the color bees love best.
I have not seen anything like the pics you took though; them piling on one flower like that. I imagine it's rather hard for them to find enough pollen these days that hasn't been sprayed with insecticides or weed killer, not to forget to mention all the wild prairie blossoms that are dwindling in number due to spraying, mowing and farming.
Consider yourself extremely lucky to have seen this. My sister and I have been sadly disappointed at the falling number of honey bees we have seen in the last several years, but while over there yesterday picking green beans from her garden I saw 4 together at one time and told her. Maybe that and your amazing photos foretells their rebounding recovery. We hope so.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I almost wondered if there was a hive somewhere that had been turned loose, or a queen that had died. I was thrilled to see that many, and like I said, they were passive. I'll bet there were at least 8-10 lilies filled like the ones pictured.
I know there had been a dearth of bees due to pesticides and a disease; wish I would have had somewhere to scoop these little guys into to keep safely!

Val May said...

Here's another possibility-someone nearby has a stand of bees and decided to smoke them and remove some of the honey so they wandered over to your house. Smoking the stand makes the bees docile.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hmmmm......I need to drive around and see if there are any visible hives. I know there are none right next to me in any direction, but I was thinking somewhere down the road someone had hives.
Just four out there this a.m. and still content to sit in the lilies.

Anonymous said...

Most interesting, Anne. I know nothing about bees, but i sure love their honey! I did read about a shortage of bees a while back...My usual $6 jar of honey has gone up to $9.29...and its just a no name brand! so, something is happening.
Love your may have captured a rare event!
Have a good day...gypsy

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I used to have honey bees all over my garden and yard, as there is a lot of white clover in it. (who needs grass???) There was some sort of mite that killed a lot, but farmers here, and the highway depts. use so many chemicals, they are slowly disappearing. Plus there was another bee variety that killed off a lot.
I need to plat more bee-friendly plants in the yard.

yoborobo said...

So good to see them like this! We've noticed the bees dwindling here, too. I've been planting flowers that they like, leaving stands of clover, but they just aren't around like they used to be. I hope your pic means they are on the rebound. :)

bernadette ostrozovich said...

there was a whole thing on public tv last night (which i did not watch entirely) but bees are disappearing in alarming numbers globally. so it is probably a very happy thing that you have seen so many. sadly, it's behavior that is also probably symptomatic of whatever is going on environmentally to kill them off. but i look at your visitation as a blessing!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I had checked again, and there were MORE. I just wish I had some way to keep them here, because there are no pesticides in my yard and I love the little guys! I got to pick one up, was nose to...ummmm....probiscus? with a couple. It was wonderful.
I am so thankful I got to record it!

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