Currently viewing the category: "Honey Bees"

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee on Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/15/2021
Time: 09:24 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This is not the first time I have seen a Honey Bee on my Cannabis.  The herb is pollinated by the wind.  Why are the Honey Bees attracted to my Cannabis?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee

Dear Constant Gardener.
Thanks for your Food Chain image.  We don’t know why Honey Bees are attracted to
Cannabis.  There is a lengthy article on Bee Culture called Bees and Cannabis that states:  “The cannabis plant is mostly wind pollinated and therefore has not evolved to attract bees. It does not produce a smell that would attract bees, nor is it colorful and finally, and most importantly, it is unable to provide a reward in the form of floral nectar. As those familiar with Apis mellifera know, it is nectar and not pollen that is required by bees to make honey. But the male plant does provide pollen in some circumstances. The existing scholarly article on the topic (Dalio, J.S., 2012) notes that cannabis pollen seems to be a food of last resort for bees. The author notes that bees (in India where the observations occurred) turned to cannabis plants as a source of protein but only visited male plants during times of dehiscence when the male plant’s reproductive organs released pollen and that bees were only interested in that pollen during a pollen dearth.”

Subject:  Unidentified predatory insect Italy
Geographic location of the bug:  Abruzzo Italy
Date: 07/04/2021
Time: 12:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, can you help me identify this obviously predatory insect which appears to be feeding on a bee. The photo was taken 1/7/2021 in Abruzzo Itay. I have shown the photo locally but no-one seems to recognise it.
Many thanks
How you want your letter signed:  J. Seymour

Robber Fly eats Honey Bee

Dear J. Seymour,
This is one impressive Robber Fly in the family Asilidae.  We believe it is
Pogonosoma maroccanum which is pictured in our archives.   It is pictured on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility site and on the Smithsonian EOL site.

Subject:  Great Golden Digger Wasp
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/15/2021
Time: 6:53 PM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
It has been several years since Daniel has seen a Great Golden Digger Wasp in the garden, but like in years past, they show a preference for blooming onions.  This was an impressive specimen, and Daniel hopes to be able to get a sharper image in the next few days.  There is a healthy Katydid population in Daniel’s garden, so the Great Golden Digger Wasps should have no problem hunting for prey to feed her brood.

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Update:  06/18/2021
The Great Golden Digger Wasp returned to the blooming onion flowers the next afternoon, and Daniel was lucky enough to capture one image with a Honey Bee.  The Honey Bee is a good indication of the size difference between the two insect, with the Great Golden Digger Wasp being about three times the size of the Honey Bee.

Great Golden Digger Wasp and Honey Bee

Update:  06/25/2021
Daniel has been seeing a Great Golden Digger Wasp visiting the onions almost every day and today there were two Great Golden Digger Wasps on one onion flower, but alas, by the time Daniel pulled his magicphone from his pocket and opened the camera app, changing the focal length to 2X to better zoom in, one had flown off.  Daniel was only able to get an image of a solitary Great Golden Digger Wasp.

Great Golden Digger Wasp

 

Subject:  What are the big shoes on the feet of the bee?
Geographic location of the bug:  Mersin,Turkey
Date: 03/31/2019
Time: 02:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello there, I was photographing honey bees in yellow folowers, close to sea. and I was wondering what is on their feet. They look like big shoes.
Thanks for your informations.
How you want your letter signed:  Bees

Honey Bee with full pollen sacs

Dear Bees,
Honey Bees are social insects that visit flowers to gather nectar which the bees store in the hive after converting the nectar to honey.  According to BugGuide, Honey Bees feed on:  “Nectar and pollen from flowers. Pollen is most important in feeding the larvae.”  While visiting blossoms, Honey Bees ingest nectar which is regurgitated upon return to the hive, and pollen is collected on pollen sacs on the hind legs.  The “big shoes” you describe are pollen sacs laden with pollen.  Here is an image from BugGuide of a Honey Bee laden with pollen.

Subject:  Brunch
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles
Date: 07/28/2018
Time: 04:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this couple at brunch on Saturday afternoon while visiting Mt. Washington.  My friend, Constant Gardener, mentioned that honey bees do not pollinate Cannabis. What led this sweet little honey bee astray?
How you want your letter signed:  Melanie on the Irish Chain

Green Lynx eats Honey Bee on Woody Plant

Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Your friend and WTB? contributor Constant Gardener is correct that Honey Bees do not pollinate Cannabis, which is pollinated by the wind.  Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Honey Bees on wind pollinated, endangered California Black Walnuts.  We are confident pollination was not the goal of the Honey Bee,
but we can’t think of a logical reason it would visit the plant and fall prey to that Green Lynx Spider that was so well camouflaged among the leaves.  Surprisingly, we found many images online of Honey Bees and Cannabis.  According to the Science Explorer:  “Many people are calling the man who trained bees to make honey from marijuana a genius.  It is something many have talked about doing, but no one has been able to successfully pull it off.  At least until now, of course. His name is Nicholas Trainer. … Trainer managed to train his bees to make honey after gathering resin from the cannabis plants.  ‘I have trained bees to do several things, such as collect sugar from fruits, instead of using flowers,’ Trainer said.  “The aim arose for me to get the bees to obtain this resin.”  By using what he calls “a training technique whereby the bees collect the resin and use it in the beehive,” Nicholas and his bees, which are solely responsible for the final substance, have created the world’s first batch of cannahoney.”  According to Real Farmacy:  “Many are calling him a genius. He is an artisan, locksmith and above all else, he explains, a beekeeper. He has accumulated over 4,300 Facebook followers, and 700 on Instagram, after the 39-year-old Frenchman — who describes himself as an advocate of medical cannabis and of complete cannabis legalization — trained bees to make honey from cannabis.  He goes by the nickname of Nicolas Trainerbees, for obvious reasons. For 20 years, he has worked with bees in a way he claims allows him to “train” them to make honey from virtually anything.”  According to The Organic Dream:  “Nicholas says that he was told by many people that it couldn’t be done, that the marijuana plant was not capable of being pollinated by the bees, who normally specialize in flowering plants, and that even if he succeeded, the bees would be harmed in the process.  But after twp years of trials Nicholas has found that the process actually works really well, and the bees are not harmed at all, in fact they seem to love it!  He concludes that as bees have no endocannabinoid system, they are not affected by the cannabinoids in the same way that humans are, that sometimes makes them drowzy or lethargic.”  According to Weedistry:  “From what we know, bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers that produce pollen and nectar. Most cannabis is pollinated by wind and the flower color is not normally bright enough to attract bees. The male cannabis plants produce pollen but most cannabis that is grown is from the female sinsemilla plants that are not pollinated and do not produce seeds. If bees were to pollinate marijuana it would be at a complete last resort but don’t worry about the bees getting ‘high’. Bees do not contain receptors that connect to the cannabinoids found in marijuana so they will not feel the buzz that people feel.”  Perhaps a bee-keeper in Mount Washington is training Honey Bees as well, which could explain your Food Chain image.  The plant in your image does not appear to have any buds yet, so the reason the Honey Bee was lured to this plant is still a mystery.

 

Subject:  Honey Bees gather pollen from California Black Walnuts
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 03/18/2018
While working in the garden Sunday, Daniel noticed a Honey Bee flying around the catkins of an endangered California Black Walnut.  He thought this was unusual since the male flowers have no nectar.  Upon doing some research, Daniel learned on several sites, including Bee Spoke Info and Beeginner Beekeeper, that Honey Bees gather pollen from such trees as alder, hazel and willow, but no mention of black walnuts.

Honey Bees gather pollen from Walnut Trees