…her larder she's stocking. In Michigan the blooms of early spring are usually dismissed as nectar and pollen sources for honeybees because the weather is typically too cold for the foragers to venture from the hive. This year the weather is not at all typical. Spring has sprung early with brief spells of weather more common for early summer and our crocus, which burst forth on the third day of March, have been visited by honeybees. Regretably we were unable to get pictures or a video of one especially determined forager. She found a white crocus that had not yet opened its petals. Unwilling to wait she wriggled and pushed until she could lift a petal enough to slip under it and inside. We were then treated to the comic sight of this little white balloon dancing at the end of its stem with its sides bending as the bee within bumped them. It reminded us of that scene in many a slapstick comedy of a shack within which a fight is taking place. The building lurches in one direction after another. The walls take turns bowing outward. The roof threatens to fly off. And then quiet settles as the winner staggers forth. And so it was when several seconds later the petals parted again as the forager forced her way out and flew off.

Today the crocus are gone but the muscari have exploded and had at least one forager visit them. The maples are filled with a small cloud of pollinators including a few honeybees and bumbles but mostly other insects too small for us to identify from the ground. We have not yet seen any visitors to the pussywillows with their catkins covered in ready pollen but they are too far to easily monitor.

It is a little depressing to think that all these honeybees we are seeing on our plants are very likely from the hive that robbed us. On the other hand any bees at work hum sweetly and with the birds and peepers serenade us a lovely spring.

Advertisements