Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pollinator Frenzy

The requisite honey bee photo.
We got rain, finally. More than an inch Sunday morning and about half an inch late Monday night and Tuesday morning. I will not have to fill the tank and water the fruit trees. Yay!

On Monday I took my tools down the hill to tie the black raspberries to their trellises. The bushes are in voluminous bloom. I hadn't realized that black raspberry blossoms do not have the showy white petals that most other members of the rose family have.

One of the Whites, probably not the Checkered.
But that didn't stop feasting at all. As I worked the shrubs hummed and buzzed with the sound of bumblebees and honey bees hard at work collecting nectar and/or pollen from the relatively inconspicuous flowers.

Various butterflies also feasted at the flowers, probing the nectaries with their long probisci. All of these pollinators will mean many lovely berries in a few weeks. I adore black raspberries and hope to harvest buckets full this year.

All of our flowering plants are covered with multiple pollinators, including clouds of butterflies and what I presume are diurnal moths.

While working the black raspberries (actually, while looking through the camera lens to see how many different butterflies I could shoot) I saw three bee/hornet/fly type pollinators that I cannot identify. So many things take nourishment from flowers.

The diversity of Nature never ceases to amaze me.
The top butterfly is probably a Silver Spotted Skipper, the little one is one of the hairstreaks, but I can't identify which one.
The Zebra Swallowtail is one of my favorites. The native paw paw tree is one of the food hosts for their larvae.

These are the three unidentified bee/hornet/fly type pollinators that I found on my black raspberry flowers. Nature produces such a wide array of insects that serve to pollinate various plants. Some plants feed pretty much all types of pollinators, while others require particularly long probisci or some other feature that allows a limited number of pollinators access to the bounty.

Anyone who can help me identify any of these, please chime in. Thanks.

Fly? Bee? Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.
And to finish up, the required bumblebee backside.


Kaine said...

The first one looks like Andrena Subopaca (Family Mining Bee), but I don't know if those are even native to here.

The second one looks like a Tachinid Fly in the genus Cylindromyia.

Can't really see the abdomen on the third one, but it looks like it is probably a Hover Fly.

Sandra M. Siebert said...

Thank you, Kaine. I will look up photos of those and look for other details that I saw, but that don't show up in the photos.

Meggie said...

All of your photos are wonderful, but I think my favorite is the zebra swallowtail. I have never seen one where I live.