Category: bees

Regular

glumshoe:

poor-boy-orpheus:

Out of curiosity, reblog this and say in the tags what post/event got you the most followers

I found some rocks in the woods and people seemed to like that.

I don’t know if it was moths or bees, but one (or both) of those.

Is it true that bees sometimes sleep on flower…

Is it true that bees sometimes sleep on flowers? I just read it on a post but I don't know if they were trying to make a cutesy #aesthetic post or if it was based on actual facts

Honeybees no, but other species of wild bees do, especially when it comes to male bees as they typically don’t nest like females. With some species like cuckoo bees being an exception as females have been seen sleeping on flowering plants. Species like bumblebees, long-horned bees, blue-banded bees are also known to sleep in or on flowers. 

But there’s about 20,000 species of bees and majority of them are solitary so I’d say roosting on flowers would be extremely common along most solitary bee species.

This is what it looks like when a bunch of male long-horned bees look like roosting:

Regular

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019

@snepwig *nervous laughter* I live in an HOA…

July 9, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

My Sanctuary

Before:

This was the photo I took of my house from the backyard when I decided to buy it. Those windows downstairs? That’s the livingroom/kitchen. My house is a bird blind. I love it. Anyways. I just now attempted to retake this photo, which was impossible because (1) physically getting to the location where I had taken this photo would be an adventure in getting personal with some trees and maybe poison ivy (2) you cannot actually see the house… at all… from that spot. But anyways.

After 3 years:

Feels good to have a yard after 14 years in apartments!

Also! Me with my elderberry bush last June (2018):

Me with my elderberry bush now (July 2019):

My baby is SO TALL!!! 😀 You can see her in the left side of the photo of my jungle. I love her. She was a gift for giving an insect talk at a garden club. They gave me some other great plants, mostly groundcover. I didn’t expect the elderberry would grow so tall, so fast! And the groundcover plants are now deciding they want to teleport their decendants to other, random areas of the garden. Yes, please! Ruellia everywhere!

This is why I’m so stressed out about not being able to find a job in Austin. I can’t move. This yard is my connection to nature. I discovered insects here. I have entomologists commenting on things I find in my yard, saying they are rare or out of range. The trees I have nurtured are my children! If I move, how can I trust they won’t be neglected, or worse, cut down?

Who would want a lawn when they could have paradise?

July 8, 2019

@magnulia lol they sure do!! I keep track on iNaturalist with a project for my yard. So far, 860 different species of bugs!

There are more, I’m a year behind uploading photos because… life happens!

July 8, 2019

Also! Those sad little dinky bushes? They’re crape myrtles. Here they are now:

Hard to see, but a 4th one (purple!) popped up to make the arrangement symmetrical. Perfect. I was told you’re “supposed” to prune them down every winter (essentially back down to nothing), but every winter, I see birds go nuts eating the seeds off of them! Why would I prune them and remove all that bird food?!

They are non-native, but they are big and bushy, and provide great shelter for the birds in my yard. A lady cardinal had beed injured by a hawk, but was able to get away from him in the white one, and the hawk was unable to get her. She lived! Also, some native insects do eat the leaves, plus, the leaves are the favorites for the leaf-cutter bees in my yard:

Those perfect circles were cut from the leaves by leaf-cutter bees who use the material to build their nests! I’ve seen holes in pokeweed and other native plants a couple times, but as soon as spring hits, the crape myrtles start looking like Swiss cheese.

Native plants are best, but if you already have non-natives, they can still play an important role in supporting the habitat you create with native species—you don’t need to worry about removing them in most cases!

July 8, 2019

Name one thing a wasp could do that a bee cant…

Name one thing a wasp could do that a bee cant I'll wait

Be smaller than an amoeba.

Keep insect population under control.

Look this fuckin dope.

Honestly though I’m having trouble gauging the seriousness and tone of your question??? But just in case this is 100% serious, Wasps are awesome. I’m not an expert on wasps so I’m not really qualified to talk about them at length, but be aware that they serve an important ecological role. 

People seem to hate wasps thanks to having or hearing about encounters with just a handful of species, but there are thousands upon thousands of wasp species around the world. Many don’t even sting!  The word “wasp” applies to a large variety of hymenopterans, not just yellow jackets and paper wasps.  Even those species that tend to sting people are important (and awesome).  The variety if wasps in my back yard alone is pretty mind blowing. (I have a soft spot for mud daubers!

And if you ask me theyre just really cool. I mean its not a competition, I love bees. But wasps are underrated. I think of them as like the raptors of insects. Awesome looking, badass, capable. The hate that wasps get is VASTLY overblown.  

Like. I’m not saying you can’t be afraid of wasps. I’m not even saying you have to like them. But this wasp vs bees stuff is beyond unnecessary, it could actually be harmful. Theres a lot to appreciate about wasps! Try thinking of them as bees cool cousin!  

People who know more about wasps than I do, feel free to weigh in! And no one be mean to the question asker! 

Regular

bugkeeping:

AGH I just found out I’m one of the finalists for the Apis M pollinator week photo contest!!!!! My entry is photo #3!!!! Please go vote

You can also vote on Facebook!

!!!

zoologicallyobsessed: Happy Pride month to e…

zoologicallyobsessed:

Happy Pride month to every all LGBT people, especially LGBT in STEM. 

I remade the LGBT flag using a few species of native Aussie bees: (Reed 🐝, Fire-tailed Resin 🐝, Teddy-bear 🐝, Metallic Green Carpenter 🐝, Neon-Cuckoo 🐝 and Great carpenter🐝)

Hi! Ever since I’ve started adding new f…

Hi! Ever since I’ve started adding new flowers and water sources to my yard, I’ve noticed different wasps hanging around. Is it good that they’re there? What are those guys doing? (Sorry I don’t know much about what they do, I was on the wasp hate team until recently)

Hello! This is a great question! I think most people don’t know much about what wasps do, and even I didn’t know much about them until just a few years ago. They are generally up to one of four things! Pollinating (they are vegetarians just like bees!), drinking water, collecting nesting materials (mud, dried grasses), or hunting insects/spiders to feed their larvae! A fifth thing they may be doing: just hanging out!

Below are some wasps I’ve seen (and photographed) around Texas in the past few years. Most of them have been in my yard near Austin!

Pollinating/Eating

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Spider Wasp (a large male!) enjoying some flowers at Lake Travis, Austin, TX

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A Eumenes sp. Potter Wasp pollinating some wildflowers in Williamson County, TX

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A lovely Scoliid wasp in east Texas (near Beaumont)

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A Blue-winged Scoliid Wasp in Keller, TX

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An Apache Wasp enjoying some old fruit I left out in my yard (it went bad and I thought the bugs would like it–they did!)

Drinking Water

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They get thirsty, too! And they also need the water to help build their nests. They can float on the water!
Left: Apache Wasp in San Marcos, TX; Right, Guinea Paper Wasp in my yard

Collecting Nesting Materials

This one is interesting, because you may not realize this is what the wasp is doing!

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Paper wasps build their nests from… well, paper fiber. They collect dried fibrous material, like dried grasses or tree bark, and use that to make their nests. But, if you have dry wood in your yard, like my fence, you may notice paper wasps standing on them. If you look closely, you may notice them… chewing on your fence. Guess what they’re doing! Your fence is becoming their nest! If you see a wasp resting on dried grasses or dead leaves, they may be collecting the fibers for their nests.
Above photos are Apache and Guinea Paper Wasps from my yard.

But not all wasps make paper nests!

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Do you have strange tubes show up on the side of your house? Do you see wasps digging around in the mud? These may be mud dauber wasps, solitary wasps who lay their eggs in little tubes made out of mud. There are lots of different types of these wasps, and they all make different shape nests. This one is the Yellow-legged Mud Dauber, and I have lots of them. The best part, is after their nests are empty, they stick around for long enough that solitary bees will show up and use them! Also, I have solitary bees using abandoned paper wasp nests too, so by supporting your wasps, you are also supporting your native bees!
Above photos are from Bastrop, TX (top two) and my yard (bottom two)

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Some wasps will dig their nests in the ground, so they don’t collect nesting material, but if you see strange little holes in the ground, they could be solitary wasps! This is a Thread-waisted Sand Wasp (Ammophila sp.) from Seminole Canyon State Park in Val Verde County, TX

Hunting to Feed Their Larvae

Babies are HUNGRY! 

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While adult wasps are 100% vegetarian, their babies need to eat high energy, high protein foods to grow up–this means other insects or spiders. So if you see wasps flying around your yard, walking around on plants, and you’re not really sure what they’re doing, they may be hunting!

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These photos are of a Guinea Paper Wasp nest and lady at my house. The lady is hunting caterpillars–she is on a passion vine plant, which had a ton of Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars, very healthy meals for growing wasp children! It was very interesting to watch her carefully walk around the plant. I never saw her catch anything, mostly because they were so good at hunting caterpillars that there never were any left!

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Gulf Fritillary caterpillars, delicious. If you are a gardener, and you don’t want your plants to get destroyed by caterpillars, guess what? Paper wasps are your friends! Once I had a healthy population of paper wasp colonies in my yard, I essentially never found a full-grown caterpillar in my yard. If I wanted to raise caterpillars, I had to find the eggs and bring them inside!

Just Hanging Out

Why do they have to be doing anything? Sometimes they just want to chill.

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Flower wasp in my yard

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Sand-loving Wasp (Tachytes sp.) on the side of my house

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A Square-headed Wasp (Subfamily Crabroninae) living in the hollow stem of a dead milkweed in my garden.

I hope that helps solve some Wasp Mysteries, and welcome to Team Wasps Are Actually Pretty Neat!

May 29, 2019

nanonaturalist: My neighbor was blessed to ha…

nanonaturalist:

My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive start up in her walls, and she invited me to come watch it getting removed. The beekeeper and I chatted about bugs etc. and he asked for my advice on supporting a good backyard habitat for fireflies. Then he let me take the comb home.

A++

May 24, 2019

Re: How to tell the males from the females! Easiest way: His eyes touch! His eyes take up almost his entire head.

All the worker bees are females, drones (males) exist only so they can mate with the queen to produce more workers. While female bees have two sets of chromosomes (they are “diploid”), male bees have only one set of chromosomes (they are “haploid,” and hatch from unfertilized eggs).

May 25, 2019

My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive star…

My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive start up in her walls, and she invited me to come watch it getting removed. The beekeeper and I chatted about bugs etc. and he asked for my advice on supporting a good backyard habitat for fireflies. Then he let me take the comb home.

A++

May 24, 2019