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The rush milkweed is still flowering.

Every once in awhile a high-pitched sound travels through the air and one of these shows up.

If you are brave, get a bit closer.

It's a tarantula hawk wasp, an important pollinator of milkweeds. You can read more about how they do it in a previous post.

These wasps are big and noisy and clumsy.  They seem like flying dinosaurs. You can't miss them.

 

Not far away is a quiet little bee that you might easily miss.

Look at that long antenna.

The bees with antennae almost as long or longer than their bodies are commonly called long-horned bees. They are important pollinators of a number of plants, but their legs aren't long enough to pollinate the specialized milkweed flowers.

Still, they are just some of the many insects that benefit from milkweed flowers.

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.