Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sunflower Appreciation

Each year I plant two or three rows of sunflowers. They add cheerful sunny colour to the garden. Their seeds are much appreciated by wildlife and they produce lots of pollen for insects. My honey bees are presently spoiled for choice, but a certain type of native bee seems to be the number one sunflower customer. It's common name is, surprise, surprise, "Sunflower Bee". I believe the scientific name is Svastra obliqua. This little cutie has brushy legs that at first glance look like a champion weightlifter's hefty arms. As it scuttles over the sunflower, it stops for very brief intervals to scrape the pollen from it's underside and on to it's leg hairs. This makes for a wiggle, waggle sort of locomotion -- something you would expect to see near the end of a very long and tired watusi dance marathon.

2Sunflwr from Out To Pasture on Vimeo.

If you would like a quick primer on North America's native bees, I recommend the following site:

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