- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
But she didn’t and she wasn’t.
She's a pollen-packed sunflower bee enjoying our sunflower. Not a honey bee but a sunflower bee. A native bee.
A Svastra obliqua expurgata (Cockerell), as UC Davis native pollinator researcher Robbin Thorp said.
“ I have seen them nesting in gardens in
“The males,” Thorp said, “spend much time cruising searching for females. The males have long antennae and thus are called ‘long-horn’ bees. The males also have greenish eyes, and bright yellow markings on the lower face.”
Both males and females are larger than honey bees and fly more rapidly when foraging, Thorp said. “They are among the native bees that interact with honey bees on the male rows of hybrid sunflower fields, disturbing the honey bees and causing them to fly out of the male rows into the female rows, thus increasing the pollination efficiency of honey bees as shown in the research by Sarah Greenleaf and Claire Kremen.”
Kremen, an affiliate of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and a regular at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on the UC Davis campus, is a conservation biologist at UC Berkeley and the recipient of a MacArthur genius fellowship.
Thorp said Svastra females have dense brushes of hairs on their hind legs and transport pollen dry in these brushes (scopae). Honey bees carry pollen moist on concave hair-fringed pollen baskets (corbiculae).
I wonder what writer Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), known for such prose as “a rose is a rose is a rose” and “there is no there there,” would have said about bees.
Perhaps “a bee is a bee is a bee?”
Or “a sunflower is a sunflower is a sunflower?”
It isn’t and it isn’t./o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/span>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/st1:place>/st1:city>/st1:place>/st1:placename>/st1:placename>/st1:city>/o:p>/span>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:p>/o:smarttagtype>/o:smarttagtype>/o:smarttagtype>