All posts filed under: Bees

Bees do the heavy “lifting” of pollination.

Robber Fly: Check out those Eyes

This robber fly was perched on a tough bully (Sideroxylon tenax) at Treasure Shores Park when we visited there on June 3, 2017.  Robber flies belong to the family Asilidae.  Florida has more than 100 species, and nearly 1,000 species are found in North America. Check out […]

8/19/2017: Happy National Honeybee Day!

European honey bees (Apis mellifera) are important imported pollinators for citrus and many other crops. Commercial beekeepers transport their hives from place to place, including to the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail, where the sign above cautions folks that these colonial bees will sting to  protect […]

Natural History: The Sweet Smell of Saw Palmetto

Annual saw palmetto flowering and fruiting are significant ecological events that attract hundreds of insect species, and provide food for bird and mammal species. Mary E. Carrington, et. al., Pollination Biology of Saw Palmetto in Southwestern Florida, Palms, Volume 47(2), 2003 The sweet fragrance of saw […]

National Honeybee Day

Today, 8/20/2016, is national honeybee day. Honeybees (Apis mollifera) are “imports” from Europe that are “farmed” (and trucked) to perform pollination services for a variety of crops and to produce honey. Our nation’s beekeepers report a decline of 44% from April 2014 to April 2016 […]

44% Decline in Honey Bees

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations declined by 44% during 2015 – 2016, according to the Bee Informed program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which surveys commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health of their bee colonies. Non-native colonial honey bees are the […]

Big, Bulky Bombus

This big, bulky bumblebee (Bombus sp.) is enjoying nectaring on its namesake bee balm (Monarda punctuata) in yet another wonderful pollinator photograph taken by Pelican Island Audubon Society Office Manager Bob Montanaro at (Pelican Island) Audubon House. Look closely to see yellow grain sod pollen […]

Metallic Gem: Orchid Bee

Bob Montanaro took this marvelous macro photograph of a green orchid bee (Euglossa dilemma) at the (Pelican Island) Audubon House on firebush (Hammelia patens). Thank you to Carol Thomas, especially Dr. Eric Blosser, and Dr. Roxanne Rutledge, all from the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, for […]

Carpenter Bee on Bee Balm

Bee balm (Monarda punctuata) attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Look how pollen from the anthers of the bee balm sticks to the top of this bulky, native southern carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans), easily identified by its ‘shiny hiney‘. This carpenter bee methodically moved from […]


Flowers ‘reward’ their pollinators with nectar and pollen. Above a southern carpenter bee (Xylocopa micans), identifiable in part by its “shiny hiney“, heads toward a partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata). The nickel to quarter-sized flowers of this member of the Fabaceae (pea) family are especially attractive […]

Curious circles

On our field trip to Captain Forster Preserve, we came across curious circular cuts in the leaves of tallowwood (Ximenia americana), a plant of dry places both ancient beach (scrub) and current beach, pictured below at south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. We learned about the […]

Very Verbesina

Each fall the frostweed (Verbesina virginica) flowers fabulously. Pollinators flock to it. At Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this plant, which dies back to the ground in the winter, was beginning to set seed in September… Flowering was especially prolific this year at Sebastian Inlet […]