Friday, August 19, 2011

pet a bumblebee?



The bee population has surged in my garden this year. In addition to the honeybees moving in, I think there may be a bumblebee hive nearby, too. There are a lot of bumblebees around. Especially in the Buddha garden where most of the vegetables are grown.

So I've begun to research and learn that bumblebees are actually the main pollinators of tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, red clover, alfalfa and beans among other plants. In Europe, nearly all the hothouse tomatoes are pollinated by bumblebees. They perform an action called sonication or buzz pollination that vibrates the flower and anthers to make them release their pollen. In tomatoes, this vibration to release pollen is crucial and evidently honeybees are not that attracted to tomato flowers.

Bumblebees will fly at lower temperatures, they will pollinate flowers that don't produce nectar, and they have furry bodies to collect pollen and pollinate as they travel around the garden.

Plus bumblebees are gentle creatures -- have you ever petted a bumblebee? I hope to do this, if I can spot a sleepy one!

Happy weekending! xo 


13 comments:

Marie said...

I wonder if their fur is prickly?
:)
Your garden sounds like a lovely place to be. (play/stitch)

woman with wings said...

Marie, I dunno --I want to find out though!

I feel like the season is slipping away and I've spent very little time outside just being, always feel like I have to work out there. But it's now or never, right?

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

i don't know if they all do, but the bumblebees here live in incredible underground nests, great excavations and tunnels...

woman with wings said...

Hi Grace, I'll need to do some investigating. I love all the wonderful pollinator creatures, even the wasps are of a gentle nature this year. I think it's because of our beehive.

Trish said...

They are absolutely wonderful creatures.
Your garden does sound wonderful!
much love.

Deb G said...

I love bumble bees. Usually have them in my garden every year.

woman with wings said...

Trish, yes they are so amazing! The garden is calling me today because it's partly cloudy and finally a great day for catching up out there. The heat has been unrelenting this year...

woman with wings said...

Deb, where would we be without them? ...there'd be a lot less tomatoes, for one thing!

lynda Howells said...

I love bees.

woman with wings said...

Lynda -- bee love!

liniecat said...

Im making up a tactile book about bees at work right now oddlt enough.......I adore them. My grandson loves them too and my little dog insists on chasing them so gets shouted at alot at this time of year lol

woman with wings said...

Lyn, does your dog eat them? Some dogs think them a delicacy. And glad to hear the little guy likes them, so many kids are scared to death of them. My mom used to tell little ones there were bees in the kitchen cupboards to keep them from playing and making a mess. It worked.

Thin Places said...

The fur is quite soft. And, if you put your finger next to where they sit, they will crawl up on it to be taken away from danger, such as smoke or a cold puddle or a strange environment (devoid of flowers and other natural things).