Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bee-ware milkweed

While out surveying our antelope horns in the Meadow, I stopped to check out what was hanging out on the blooms. Sadly, I found a dead bee on one head. This is the first time I've observed a death caused by the sac-like bundles called pollinia that pollinators pick up while gathering nectar. I'd read that sometimes bees or butterflies get trapped by the pollinia and died but had never seen that happen until this evening. Poor bee.
I took some photos of another bee (below) so you can see the sacs attached to her legs. Below, I linked to a couple of videos so you can see and understand the process more clearly. It's really pretty cool and unique.

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