Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mayhem in the Blueberries: Bees and Wasps

When the blueberries were in full bloom, the bushes seemed to be humming. At first glance, it looked like a mixture of just honey bees and bumblebees were responsible for the sound. Closer inspection showed that

European honey bee (Apis mellifera)

European honey bees (Apis mellifera) and

Eastern Carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica)

Eastern Carpenter bees (Xylocopa virginica) – not bumblebees - were responsible for most of the activity.

Common Eastern Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens)

Common Eastern Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) were in a minority compared with the other two.

A few halictid bees (Lasioglossum sp.) – ‘left over’ from their earlier pollination activities in the pear trees where they were the only bees working the flowers – and Northern Paper Wasps (Polistes fuscatus) were working the blueberries.

Obviously they did a good job.

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