Monday, September 8, 2008

The Humble Bee

"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway."  
Mary Kay Ash

I don't know about you, but it seems that I have a ton of bumble bees around my yard this year. I have always had them around my flowers, but it seems that everywhere I look these days, a bumble bee is buzzing around.  I love to watch them cling to a flower and then move along to the next blossom, the flower swaying from the strain of its weight.

After doing a little bit of research on this beautiful buzzer, I learned that bumble bees help us with what is called "buzz pollination", which sets them apart from many other pollinators. They grab a flower and shake it during pollination, which causes a release of pollen that normally would stay inside the flower.  Most other pollinators are not capable of providing this service, including honeybees.  This is why in most commercial tomato greenhouses, bumble bees are raised and used to pollinate the tomato plants.  The bumble bee will almost never sting you unless they feel their life is in danger and is much more gentle than even the honeybee.  

So please welcome this humble bee to your garden, along with me!


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Anonymous said...

This year we had the most bumble bees I ever saw in the garden. I credit them with pollinating the whole garden since I didn't see any honey bees this year.
I did step on a bumble bee when I was a child and it hurt. Really hurt. That is the only sting from a bumbee I remember. Now, a wasp, that is a different story. Mean critters...
Good post.