I continue to learn more about bees. Last week, for example, I attended a webinar presented by two UC Riverside entomologists, Quinn McFrederick and Boris Baer, about native bees and honey bees and their current health status. You can watch it here; it has been given the title, “An update on current research on pollinator health.”

And I continue to take photos of bees visiting the flowers in my yard — as best I can, as many of the wild, native bees move so fast! (The photo above shows a honey bee approaching a Velvet Queen sunflower that already has a couple of Summer Longhorned Bees (Melissodes robustior) feeding on it.)

I thought I’d share a handful of my favorites photos of bees on flowers from the past few years. Maybe you’ve seen some of these bees in your yard? And maybe you grow some of these plants whose flowers are loved by these bees?

honey bee on apricot flower
Honey bee on apricot flower.
Sweat Bee (Halictus ligatus, I think) on poppy.

Isn’t it fun that bees come in all shapes and sizes? Above you’ve got a tiny bee on a medium sized flower; then below you have a big bee on a tiny flower.

Yellow-faced bumblebee (Bombus vosnesenskii) on blueberry flower.
Bumblebee and syrphid fly headed toward flowers of ceanothus.

What’s the difference between a bee and fly? One difference is that bees have two sets of wings, so four wings total, whereas flies only have two wings total.

Ultra Green Sweat Bee (Agapostemon texanus) on cosmos.
Another Ultra Green Sweat Bee on globe gilia (Gilia capitata).

The U.G.S. Bee is common and still I get excited to see one because its colors look unreal.

A couple of Longhorned Bees on wild sunflowers, almost blending in.
Ivory Banded Digger Bee (Anthophora californica), I think, on tansy phacelia (Phacelia tanacetafolia).

I took this photo a couple of days ago. I often see these bees on phacelia. They look similar to honey bees except are fatter and furrier, and the bands on their abdomens are whiter. They also have large eyes.

Want to see some in your yard? Plant their food and they will come.

And when they do come, they’ll pollinate your vegetables and fruit trees, making more food for you. What a friendly thing to do.

My other bee posts:

Growing a bee garden

Oh, the mistakes I’ve made: thinking flowers were for girls

California Bees and Blooms: a book review

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