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Although the weather is uncomfortably hot for humans, things are still happening out in the garden here in Arizona.

sunflower

The sunflowers we planted for the Great Sunflower Project have started to flower.

The bees can hardly wait.

A few days ago these bees were sleeping on a nearby milkweed plant.

long-horned bee

long-horned bee

Long-horned bees (tribe Eucerini in the family Apidae) are named for the long antennae present on males. They have a habit of clustering in groups to sleep overnight on plants.

I'm not sure what species these particular bees are. There are over 30 genera in the tribe Eucerini, including Melissodes (the long-horned bees), Peponapis and Xenoglossa (squash bees), and Svastra (sunflower bees).

Hopefully we'll be seeing bees on the sunflowers soon.

Check out this unique slow motion video of a bee flying. Although the title says it is a bumble bee, it is actually a carpenter bee. Also, if an ad pops up the first time you view, simply close it and it shouldn't show again.

Isn't that incredible? Bees actually have four wings, but their wings hook together in flight, giving the appearance of only having 2. When the carpenter bee starts to turn, notice its wings separate on the right side.

bee in airThis morning I took a few minutes from my daily grind to take a few photographs. The garden is in full bloom and a loud buzzing attracted me to the side garden. Here is what I found. Do you know what it is?

This tiny bee is known as a digger bee. The flower it is visiting is a penstemon. Digger bees are fun to watch because they are cute and furry. This one was definitely aware of me. It came over and checked me out a couple of times. I wonder what I looked like to it?

If you are interested in bees, you should check out my lesson plans titled "Africanized Honey Bees on the Move." Some of the lessons have information about solitary bees such as this one.