Bees on the Scrabble board

Scrabbling:

Where real gardening words can strut their stuff as game-changers and give you the power to make historic plays.

 

Today, the busy bee sparks interest

 

Parsivoltine: The tendency or ability to remain in an egg or immature form for more than one year.

Some bees that do not live in colonies but in small groups of mom-plus-offspring follow this cycle: Mom emerges from a pupal cell in spring, fully formed. She flies, finds a mate and spends her life laying a batch of eggs, each in its own cell and that cell stocked with provisions. Usually, the young develop and emerge the next spring. A parsivoltine bee may respond to who-knows-what environmental conditions by hanging out in the cell for a whole extra year.

Univoltine – having one brood per year. Generally used in reference to insect life cycles.

Multivoltine or polyvoltine – having multiple broods each year.

 Did you know that many of our native bee species emerge for just a short time each year, timed to gather pollen and nectar from a specific plant species or related group of plants, and then is done for the year?

Bee zappers

The good people of the Xerxes Foundation in the book Attracting Native Pollinators shocked us with this: That a bee’s pollen collecting and pollinating ability involves electricity.

Pollen packed onto their bristly legs and dusted on their heads, it's all extra-connected on electric bees.

Pollen packed onto their bristly legs and dusted on their heads, it's all extra-connected on electric bees.

The bee packs pollen on her legs. Bristly hairs and the bee’s static charge hold it fast.

Until, that is, the bee builds up enough electrostatic charge that there is a discharge – a spark - when she lands on an oppositely charged flower. In the spark, pollen is dislodged and sticks to the flower.