Let's celebrate Pollinators! If you are like me, your Lemon Queen Sunflowers are not quite ready to bloom. However, there are lots of other flowers in my garden that are getting lots of visits. I've set a goal of doing three counts on each of the ten plants that are blooming. While watching, I am really interested in seeing which plants are attracting a lot of different types of bees. Some bee species will visit any and all flowers whereas other species only visit a couple different types. It is this latter group that I'm most concerned about. These "picky" bees are called specialists. When we convert wild areas to other uses, we often do not replant with native plant species. Generalist bees who visit any plant usually can handle this type of change. However, specialists are more likely to be unable to switch. I am always delighted to see specialist bees like the image below, a beautiful male Melissodes photographed by Sam Droege. I think they look like a teddy bear. And gosh, look at those long gold antennae.
The Queen Bee