Look -- a Bee!

One of the best things about my garden this year is the hyacinth bean vines. I've only been growing these for a couple of years -- I think last summer was the first time I planted them -- but they've become my favorite flowering vine. I am especially pleased with the one that I planted along one of my deck supports. After a slow start and a few nibbles by deer, it's really going strong and is covering the deck railing.

The dozens of flower spikes attract bees, butterflies, and moths all day long, so I can step out onto the deck and observe their activities whenever I want. Today I caught a couple of larger bees during their rest period, so I was able to take several photos. I wish I could have caught them from a few more angles, but when I move the camera around them too much they start "waking up" and fly off. So I tried to be as non-disruptive as possible.


I'm having a hard time figuring out the exact species of each of these.

It doesn't help that I only took photos of the face -- a couple of views of the bodies would have been helpful. But as I already said, I couldn't move the camera around too much or they got restless.

This one might be a yellow-faced bumble bee:

Here she is a moment later with her tongue out (is "tongue" the right word?):

Let's just say that they're "bumble bees" and leave it at that for now. What I know for certain is that they love these flowers!

There are other types of bees here too, but they're all moving too much. These two were the only ones taking a break. The pitted, shiny head of this one makes me uneasy for some reason:

While these large bumble bees are flying around, they all seem to be very similar in appearance. When you take a closer look at them though, you can see that they're very different indeed. Ignore the yellow face of the one -- it's the basic structure of their heads that is different.

I wonder how many different species are buzzing around here? I'll have to snap more photos and make a little survey.

So that's a quick look at some resting bumble bees. I think it's time for me to get some rest now too...

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