After a few nerve-wracking frosty nights in a row (down to 30 degrees or so), today is in the 70’s, sunny, and the pollinators are out! In addition to honey bees, there are bumble bees, flies, ants, and a number of other insects I have yet to identify out on the blossoms of my peach, pear, plum, and crab apple trees. We would all be screwed–and very hungry– without these insects who tirelessly carry pollen from one flower to the next, gathering nectar for themselves in the process, and ensuring that our fruits, vegetables, and other seed-bearing plants that are not wind-pollinated (including many forest trees) are able to reproduce. Take a minute to thank your local pollinators, or better yet go out and watch them in action. The photos below are of honeybees (Apis mellifera) on pear blooms in the orchard earlier today.
Look at the size of the pollen sacs (some people call them pollen ‘baskets’) on her rear legs in this photo (on peach blooms)!