Which came first, the wildflowers or the bumblebees? We are not sure, but neither would be as abundant without the other. The Heart is blanketed with seasonal and fragrant blooms which attract all sorts of pollinators. Seeing the bees bumble about is one of the many joys of camp life.
Because they produce enough honey for human consumption, honeybees typically get all of the glory. Bumbles also produce a minor amount of honey, which is saved for rainy days when they cannot get out and forage. Like the rest of their species, they are mighty pollinators, collecting pollen on their legs. Two plates on their legs hold the pollen in place, and are called the pollen press.
While feeding the horses earlier this week, I noticed an outstanding specimen of mullein and went to have a closer look. Many bees were “beesily” working away, ladening their legs with powdered gold. Industrious critters, bumblebees stand out from other bees because they are uniquely hairy. The color pattern leads me to “bee”lieve that the ones pictured are golden northern bumblebees.
Bumblebees remind us that we are a part of a delicate balance, and that we contribute to a community larger than what meets the eye. Also, the mighty can be tiny.