1 year ago
Friday, May 21, 2010
Hyper & Normal Bees In The Back Yard
I've been watching the bees pollinate the French lavender and the lantana adjacent to my pool deck, and I've noticed there's 2 distinctive species of bees. The first one, I call the "Hyperactive Bees" have more distinctive black and white stripes on their abdomens. They hover, much like a hummingbird does, able to move rapidly laterally, and do sudden accelerations and turns. They dart from flower to flower, and they aggressively chase each other if two get too close. They maneuver like sweat bees in Indiana and South Carolina sometimes do, but they are distinctly bee shaped, bee colored, and bee sized. They completely ignore me as I stand and sit and do various yoga poses, sometimes flying within a few inches of me, oblivious.
And for all of April, and most of May, I thought these were the only bees that I would see in my backyard. But then Wednesday, the "normal honey bees" discovered the French lavender, and moved in. They Do Not fly laterally. They are slightly more "hairy" then the hyperactive sisters, but not hairy enough to be declared "killer bees" or "Africanized bees". They move in normal, 'bee motion', almost in slow motion, going from flower to flower, gradually, directly. These girls seem to cooperate and exhibit far less aggression to their sisters. Unfortunately, they are interested in the big clumsy biped mammal, a few feet away. A gold anodized camera, red framed sunglasses, blue shorts or shiny beads of sweat on a hot Arizona day, and they tend to investigate me if I lean over or too close to the lavender blossoms... so I have to be careful. It's been a few years since I was last stung by a bee (between my fingers), and I don't want to be stung again.
I'll continue to rescue the not-so-smart bees who come to drink from the pool and get sucked in by surface tension. Using the pool's leaf net - which might be anti-evolutionary perhaps, but with the mass bee die-offs that have been occurring nationally, I figure ever bee I save is good karma paid forward - I scoop them out, and then once their wings dry off (in a minute or two) they fly off the leaf net as it hangs along the wall adjacent to the pool. I'm glad I can occasionally pick up a few girls from time to time at my pool, even if they have exoskeletons and they're an incompatible species. =P