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Bicolored pollen pellets on a bumble bee

Yesterday, I saw this bumble bee foraging on a self-heal flower, Prunella vulgaris. The thing that stands out is the bicolored pollen pellets, orange fading into white. Although you can see bicolored pollen pellets frequently on bumble bees, you almost never see them on honey bees. Honey bees have very strong floral fidelity, which means […] Read more

Floral fidelity yields pure pollen pellets

Floral fidelity makes honey bees special. While many pollinators flit from one plant species to another, honey bees doggedly pursue flowers of a certain species. So when the new day dawns, Sue and Marianne, Betsy and Josephine grab their flight plans and wing out the front door. Sue is visiting dandelions, Marianne and Betsy are […] Read more

Honey bees collect Alaska cedar pollen

Yesterday, when I saw hundreds of honey bees in the Alaska cedar hedge (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) in front of my house, I thought they must be collecting propolis. But on closer inspection, it was obvious they were collecting pollen. Their corbiculae were full of pollen the exact color of the pollen-bearing strobili that adorned the tips […] Read more