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Megachile angelarum: a bee in a pea

Early this past spring, my friend Nancy told me about a patch of everlasting pea (Lathyrus latifolius) growing alongside the sound, just across from the port of Olympia. Then she linked me to a colorful gallery of bees and other pollinators she found there. Intrigued, I packed my camera and headed north. The pungent smell […] Read more

Why do I see mining bees in September?

In the past week I received two nearly identical questions about mining bees. Both writers wanted to know why they had mining bees in September while everyone says that mining bees come in the spring. Excellent questions. DJ wrote: All I read about these bees indicates they are usually around in early spring, but mine […] Read more

What blooms in your September garden?

During the last few years I’ve worked hard at collecting late-flowering plants. In spring and early summer, nectar and pollen plants abound, but late summer and autumn can be a problem for pollinators. This year, I decided to take an inventory of what was blooming this first week of September. Dahlias steal the pollinator show […] Read more

Coelioxys: cuckoo bees with weapons

It may surprise you that up to 20% of all bees in North America are cleptoparasites, stealing provisions by laying their eggs on the pollen collected by other bees. According to Bees of the World by Christopher O’Toole and Anthony Raw, the worldwide count of cuckoo species is somewhere around 3700. That means a whole […] Read more