The lawn is laden with clover this week, offering an all-you-can-eat bumblebee buffet. The bumblebees’ activity is so quick and their movement so constant (they’re as busy as bees you know) that almost every photograph I took of them was blurred. It was also a challenge to not step on the bees as I attempted to photograph them while they worked.
As they travel from clover floret to floret seeking nectar, female worker bumblebees fill the pollen baskets on their hind legs. By the time these baskets are considered full by the bee, each might contain up to a million grains of pollen. Imagine the care and hard work required to gather so many grains! This pollen will then be carried home to feed the next generation of bees.
Due to their long tongues, bumblebees are the insects most capable of reaching the nectar hidden within the folds of the clover floret. Bumblebees pay for the pollen grains they gather by cross-pollinating the many clover florets they visit. They’re hairy little creatures, magnets for any pollen they encounter as they go about their busy work. Later, back at home, they’ll use special combs on their legs to carefully clean off any pollen that’s left lingering on their bodies.
One can no more approach people without love than one can approach bees without care. Such is the nature of bees…
~ Leo Tolstoy
Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2014