Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pollinators in the Garden

With the hot weather cooling off just a bit, I took a look outside to see what was buzzing around the garden. I used to be scared of anything that looked like it could sting, but most of the buzzing creatures seemed happy to have their picture taken.

I did see some things that I did not expect, like this blue-striped bee/wasp?

sitting on the white butterfly bush in the back garden

 There were more on the Coreopsis, along with bees and wasps of the yellow-variety:
The blue ones did not like sharing, and were big enough to push the smaller wasps off.

This shows  how distinct the blue markings were. They might be mason bees?

I thought this picture came out rather interesting - the wasp (?) is making a bee-line for the Coreopsis verticillata 'Route 66' ...
It's free!

what look like three different species on the same plant.
 This big black bee (a carpenter bee, I think?) was buzzing around the Salvia greggi. At first I thought the sound was a hummingbird, it was so loud...
The best picture was blurry - the thing would not sit still, except on the other side of the bush!
 But the award for the biggest thing buzzing around the garden that day went to this guy:
Sitting on the back of a bloomed-out sunflower, eating?
It was LOUD, and kind of bumbly, but when it finally stopped moving, it looked more like a giant beetle than anything else. I tried to use both Bugguide and What's That Bug to try and id this guy, but I'm still not sure what it is...

For more (and better!) pictures  of pollinators, there is Alan's post at It's Not Work, It's Gardening. His pictures are gorgeous!


  1. I'm scared of things that look like they can sting too. I'm wondering if your big blue-striped bug is a cicada killer. Do you ever talk to the bugs? I do. I know, that makes me sound a little strange.

    1. based on the pictures I've seen of cicada killers, these are a lot smaller... those things are scary big!

      And I often talk to the bugs, so I don't think that's strange at all! Although usually I'm yelling at the ants to quit digging colonies everywhere...

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Perhaps some of these are bee flies? They mimic bees but have 2 wings instead of 4 and different eyes and antennae.

    1. You might be right... looking at the picture of the blue "wasp" again, it seems to only have 2 wings. Maybe that will help me find out what this is... Thanks for your comment!


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