My neighbor's cactus was covered with flowers this morning.
Getting a clean shot wasn't easy.
A carpenter bee kept photobombing.
But check out how cool it looks in flight.
Maybe it was the flowers who were photobombing?
A few weeks ago, the wolfberry was in bloom and covered with insect visitors.
Today the Texas sage is blanketed with flowers.
We had a lot of rain this month, and Texas sage plants bloom in response to humidity and rain.
The insects respond, too.
The thumb-sized carpenter bees caught my eye, but they were too fast for a close up.
Does this look like a honey bee?
Surprise! It is a syrphid fly. It was more cooperative and sat still for its photograph.
Here's another smaller syrphid fly (sometimes called a flower fly.) It also posed.
The honey bees looked strange. Instead of the usual golden brown, most were covered with white pollen.
Would you believe the thorax of this sweat bee is bright green?
It looks like it is covered with snow.
All these insects are pollinators, which means they carry pollen from plant to plant and help many types of plants produce viable seeds. Some recent reports have shown that pollinators may need extra assistance in order to survive and thrive. Check out a recent article which suggests being messy in the garden is a good way to provide places for pollinators to shelter over winter.
Messy? That's easy to do!
Here in Arizona, we often see large black bees on flowers.
They are female carpenter bees.
This fuzzy blonde-colored bee is roughly the same size as the female carpenter bee above, but is not seen as often.
Any idea what it is?