Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flower Bed

Bees sleeping in flowers gives a new meaning to the term "flower bed."

I found this bumble bee sleeping in a sunflower this morning. The morning was cool, in the 60s. This picture was taken about 8:45 am. As the morning warmed up, bee took off and started his daily routine. At 8:30 pm, I found a bumble bee on the same flower, sleeping. I imagine it's the same one!

Turning around, I found this honey bee, sleeping in the allysum. From my limited web research, I find the bees do sleep in flowers - the male that doesn't have to return to the hive at night. Females go back to the hive. Also, found that only the female has a stinger, so sleeping bees can be approached, gently, and even lightly touched. I did not so experiment!

I learned that bees hold on with either their legs or their mandibles and tuck in for the night. The bees wings are still and they just sit there. As soon as the day starts to warm up the bees will begin stirring and again begin their search pollen or mates. Some say that the bee isn't sleeping but rather slowing down metabolism to save energy in the cool of the evening. I'm not sure how one would decide a bee is sleeping or saving energy.

I'll bet that honey bees have sweet dreams.....

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