Saturday, June 4, 2011

and they were


Despite the drought, our magnolia tree has been blooming it's little heart out. It is so dry that I finally watered it this morning and will again later. I don't usually water the trees and I never water grass (if it turns brown then sobeit) but the magnolia is starting to look a little parched and I would hate to lose it. I've been seeing some magnolias around town that are dropping all their leaves in an attempt to conserve/survive.

And so that's why I happened to be out there to see this.


This one little magnolia flower had a dozen or more bees working in it.


They were very busily dismantling the pistil, working at each individual stamen, tugging at it until they pulled it off and it fell to the ground, usually with a bee hanging onto it, or into the cup of one of the petals.


I don't know if they were collecting the stamens and flying off with them to be replaced by a new bee or just dropping them.


Maybe they were just after the pollen as there were always several bees rummaging around in the fallen stamens in the petal.


I have never see bees act like this before.


16 comments:

  1. Hmmm - maybe the flower was fermenting? Bizarre!

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  2. Our magnolia is not blooming yet. Don't you just love the scent? Heaven.

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  3. there's usually some purpose to natural events. perhaps there was nothing on bee tv. steven

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  4. This is fascinating. I have no idea why the bees did this unless they were stripping the flower naked?

    I adored your last post, the N one.

    You are a woman atrer my own heart.
    I also loved your comment on my suicide post. What it is to be full of good, common sense and not suffer from any delusions of any sort.

    Long may we last and if we've had enough, either strip and jump into the river or take a little pill.

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  5. Could there be a bit of water in there? During a dry spell, I've found little wasps deep in our lettuce plants, on the bottom where a small bit of water will pool in the leaves.

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  6. Those bees know a good thing.

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  7. WOW! I am amazed! They must have a really good reason- That is some serious work!

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  8. What an extraordinary sight, looks like they have collected lots of pollen, their legs are covered! What kind of Magnolia is it? It is a tree on my wish list and yours looks very beautiful. Magnolia honey - what a delicacy!

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  9. Wow! I too have never seen bees act like that!! Amazing!
    We are in a drought here too. No rain to speak of since January!!!!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn
    PS Great shots by the way!

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  10. The magnolia is my very favourite tree. Perhaps due to the drought there is little nectar left around for the bees to collect, and they are forced to squeeze and strip every last drop out from what ever is around?

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  11. The sweet is deep and they want it all. Lovely shots and great closeups.

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  12. Ellen- I just loved this post. Beautiful photos of nature at word. My beekeeping friend would just love this... I'm going to send her your link. :)

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  13. Those are amazing pics. And I bet that flower smells amazing.

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  14. Fantastic images, Ellen! I adore Magnolias! So fortunate to have grown up with them in Texas and Palo Alto, where, when the trees are blooming, the scented air is so amazing you feel like you've been transported to heaven. I used to pick up the fallen leaves and rub my nose in the softness and perfume. Thanks for bringing back those memories. I wonder what magnolia honey tastes like? Maybe you should be keeping some bees this summer!

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  15. Very good photography, Ellen. Those bees might be getting drunk on nectar.

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  16. must have been some sweet, sweet nectar there! so cool!!:)

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