I could watch bees crawl in and out of turtlehead flowers all day. Mostly it’s just bumblebees and honeybees that do this, because they’re big enough to open the flowers. And I see more bumblebees than honeybees here.
They force their way into the “mouth” of the “turtle” and rustle around inside for quite awhile, then exit and find another flower to repeat the process.
Sometimes they need to stop and regroup after they exit, brushing the pollen off their antennae or eyes, I assume.
This flower has a honeybee inside, barely visible.
This year, at first, I thought I had noticed a difference – bumblebees climb out backwards, while honeybees turn around and climb out face-first – but then I saw a bumblebee turn around, too. (And the video above shows a bumblebee that turns around, so I had seen that before.) In fact, I don’t seem to have any photos of bumblebees backing out. So much for that theory.
This one is my favorite: looks like it was quite the effort to squeeze out of this blossom.
If I were giving out an award for the most social flower of the year, black-eyed susan would win. One fun day, I spent the morning checking and rechecking on them, noticing and admiring the diversity of insects that were attracted to the blossoms. About two-thirds of these photos are from that one day alone.
Flies that look like bees:
Bees and butterflies:
Japanese beetle doing the splits:
I don’t know what this is:
And my favorite find, a camouflaged looper inchworm:
Long petals, short petals. Skinny petals, wide petals. Single color, bicolor. You name it, we saw it somewhere in the garden this year.
The red ones likely came from a seed mix a few years ago. They started in a flower box and are now spreading on their own and may be intermingling with the native, solid-yellow, rudbeckia hirta. I think they’re called “gloriosa daisy” though which specific variety, I’m not sure; perhaps there are more than one, which is why there’s such variation.