Sunshine, Flowers, Bees and Me
Last spring I accepted an offer of sunflower seeds to help the bees. Here is my result: 50% of the seeds grew and this week they actually flowered. They should have done so back in July, but here are the bees making use of them. The bee in the picture is a wild bee, not a honeybee. It’s collecting nectar and pollen from the outer florets of this compositae.
Upon further research I’m not entirely sure the bees in the photo are wild bees. They do resemble Apis mellifera
, honeybees, but it’s hard to be sure because they are dusted with pollen. I’ll just state they should not be honeybees because it’s illegal to keep farm animals in this region… I don’t see any hives in the vicinity but they could have flown a mile or two to find my sunflowers or be escaped honeybees that managed to survive our winter. Nevertheless, there are more of them today and plenty of butterflies, on the last warm day in the two-week forecast.
The butterflies are called “Painted Ladies” but Manitoba calls the larva, “Thistle Caterpillars“. Apparently, the larvae feed on thistles, of which I have a few, and sunflowers like mine. I think the butterflies are pretty and anything that eats my weeds is welcome.
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