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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!

The spring flowers resembled busy airports this week.

The desert marigolds were abuzz with insects, including this photo-bombing honey bee.

The red and black bug is a charcoal seed bug, Melacoryphus lateralis.

The brittlebush flowers were also teeming with insect life.

 

Many of the flowers harbored false chinch bugs.

Some were hiding underneath.

Along with numerous honey bees, the flies were active. This is the black flower fly, Copestylum mexicana.

Is it a bee or a fly?

This one is another kind of flower fly that mimics a bee.

This plant bug's spring finery matched the flower.

It's an exciting time of year in nature.

This week I ran across this video from the American Chemical Society about The Unexpected Chemistry of Honey. It quickly reviews how honey is made.

Note: It is probably for older children, given the level of chemistry and the use of the word "puke."

What do you think?honey-bee