Buzz pollination

The partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) at south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area was ablaze with flowers when we took a very small-group walk to look for Florida butterfly orchids (Encylcia tampensis) on June 27, 2020.

Bees pollinate this native annual via sonification, a.k.a. buzz pollination.  I could hear the buzzing and assumed and that a bumblebee was the pollinator, but I was wrong.

George and Mary Ester Bollis sent photos of the southern carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans) that was pollinating this plant …

When I looked at my photos, I saw that the pollinator was indeed a carpenter bee.  Carpenter bees are native and solitary.  They rarely sting unless molested.  Yes, the females will create nests in unpainted wood but otherwise they use twigs — or bee boxes — for their nests.



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