Hummingbirds and Honey Bees

One of the things that I love about Spring is that everything is always changing, beginning anew. There is no stasis. Even though we have seen these scenes play out before, their return to the spring stage is always a welcomed site.

The ruby-throated hummingbirds are back! Just last week, I saw one flitting around the mealworm feeder hoping to find some nectar. I quickly made simple syrup, poured it into the hummingbird feeder and placed it outside. It was found pretty quickly.

Here is the male. Check out that ruby throat.

The female wasn’t far behind. Notice the lack of the ruby throat.

Look at how she glistens!

And, of course, we have the blooming of the crab apple trees, and with those blooms come the honey bees. These trees are a great early season nectar and pollen source to the bees looking to increase their hives depleted resources.

Note the pollen she collects on her hind legs.

She carries the pollen in what is called a pollen basket, or a corbiculum. It is a flattened, concave depression surrounded by curved spines located on the outside of the tibiae of the bee’s hind legs. The mass of pollen within the basket is called a pollen pellet.

Now, on a calm, quiet day, when I stand under one of the crab apple trees in the yard, I hear the calming hum of the mass of foragers enjoying the spring bounty. This happens with all the 17 crabs that I have throughout the yard. It is a beautiful time of year.

Please listen.

#pollinators #honeybees #backyardebeekeeping #beekeepinginmn #beekeeping #rubythroatedhummingbird #crabappletrees #crabappletreesaspollinators

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