My name is Dr Margriet Dogterom and am the founder and owner of Beediverse. I write this blog for all who love bees and who want to learn more about these wonderful creatures.
Thank you Bruce for putting me onto this awesome reference. For anyone interested in identifying bumble bees in the west this is the one to use.
Bumble bees are the fuzzy bees in our garden. Their fuzziness makes them excellent pollinators. Here are a few facts from this Fact sheet.
Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen –
Peter Bernhardt, Ph.D., a professor of biology at SLU and research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney, New South Wales, has been studying reproductive patterns in wildflowers in six countries for more than 40 years and, like most dedicated scientists, thrives on new discoveries such as how bees respond to the color of the flowers they pollinate.
“Remember how you were told that a dark coat keeps you a little warmer on a cold but sunny day?” Bernhardt said. “Some plants blooming in chilly environments have dark purple or almost black patches on their flowers to keep cold-blooded insects toasty warm as they pollinate.”
Exerpt from ‘News from the world of bees’ 14 Jan 2017
Here is a valuable resource. Not does it describe the different groups of pollinators, but which plants are most favoured by bees. This is a great help if you want to make your garden suitable and attractive to bees. Some great photos too.
Resin bees nest in cavities using resin pitch from trees to close their nesting tunnels. When opening nests in the fall and you see small pupae between walls of resin, close up the nests and bees will emerge the following spring. If nests are empty proceed as noted by Kat B.
“Dear Dr. Dogterom,
Thank you for your response!
After some trial and error, I found the best way to clean the resin was with boiling hot water. I submerged the trays in the water and let them sit briefly to allow the resin to soften. I then scraped each channel clean using a small screw driver wrapped in cotton gauze. The material picked up the sticky mess and I adjusted the wrapping as I went so that I did not simply redistribute the mess. A very light residue remained, but was no longer tacky after cooling. Overall this process was very effective and fairly efficient – I had quite a few trays with resin, but was able to quickly clean them. I found it best to work with two trays at a time. Sincerely, Kat B. 🐝