Why Do Bees Just ‘Hang Out’?

9 10 2012

Bees are supposed to be busy. Always on the move. Foraging, scouting, collecting, helping the hive thrive. But sometimes, you see a bee just sort of hanging out. Not moving. Not doing much of anything.

There may be a few reasons for this. First, it might be too cold. Bees’ flight muscles need to be held at specific temperatures in order to work properly. When it gets too cold (especially when it is too cold for the insect to shiver and thus raise muscle temperatures), they are grounded.

Another reason might be that the bee is old and tired. This might especially be the case if you notice ragged wings on the bee and it is later in the season.

It could also be possible that the bee (especially males) has forgotten to fuel up by drinking nectar during all of its flying around. No fuel means no energy.

I had a photo submission from 100twenty out in Southern Quebec. A quiet bumble was found hanging off the wild aster in Gatineau Park. One thing about grounded bees – they make for excellent photo opportunities ;)

Tomato Plants Love Bumble Bees

1 08 2012

And there is evidence of that statement below, thanks to another 100twenty contribution from eastern central Canada! (click for high-rez, as per usual).

July 2012 - Bumble bees love tomato plants - Southern Quebec

July 2012 - Bumble bees love tomato plants - Southern Quebec

Bombus impatiens in the Onion Flowers

23 07 2012

Submitted by 100twenty from Southern Quebec. A Bombus impatiens hanging out in the onion flowers.

Bombus impatiens - July 2012 - southern Quebec

Bombus impatiens - July 2012 - Southern Quebec

Gorgeous Pale Orange Bumble in Quebec

8 07 2012

Bombus sylvicola and ternarius by bumblebee.org Yet more identification issues. I spotted a beautiful pale orange striped bumble bee in Southern Quebec recently. According to bumblebee dot org, it could be one of two North American bumbles  (see left). Bombus sylvicola or Bombus ternarius. They look to be a much brighter orange.

The trouble with bee guides that rely upon sketches rather than actual photographs is that the drawings seldom look much like reality.

Enjoy my photos below!

Bombus sylvicola - Southern Quebec - June 20

Bombus sylvicola - Southern Quebec - June 20

Bombus sylvicola - Southern Quebec - June 20

Bombus sylvicola - Southern Quebec - June 20

Jean-Marie Sempels: Local Honey in Quyon, Quebec

4 07 2012

Jean-Marie Semplels - BeekeeperLocal honey on offer through the Wakefield Farmers’ Market and the Old Chelsea Market in Southern Quebec.

On offer: Pure liquid honey, flavoured honey, creamed honey, honeycomb, and more. Very affordable prices.

for more information on products and shipping, and on other locations where this honey is sold.

If you have sampled products from this apiary, please feel free to include your comments below :)

Honey by the Bees of Jean-Marie Sempels


Bombus huntii Near Ottawa

14 04 2012

I swear the bees can hear me. In the middle of the morning today, as a friend and I sat outside at her woodsy home in Southern Quebec near Ottawa, I commented on the various things blooming in the early Spring warmth. I also commented that what was missing was the pleasant buzz of bees. I had been spoiled on a recent trip down to California where I saw plenty of honey bee action in L.A. It is a wee bit colder up here in Canada, but immediately after making my comment, my friend noticed some movement in her line of newly-bloomed crocuses. I hurried over to take a look and indeed, it was a lone bumble bee. She was lingering over individual flowers, so I took a chance and ran indoors to get my crappy camera. I was in luck as I made my return. Even luckier was the fact that the two photos I managed to take both turned out and I present them below. Upon some investigation, I think this is a Bombus huntii. The North American identification diagrams might indicate other possibilities, especially as huntii didn’t seem to bee a species that shows up in my locality, but I ran across a couple of excellent photos that look very much like what I saw. Enjoy!

Bombus huntii Southern Quebec

Bombus huntii Southern Quebec


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