4.25.2010

Carpenter Bees Part I

Yesterday was a banner day at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. The lilacs were in their prime, working their mind-altering magic on the dazzled crowd of worshipers. Barely noticed on the ground beneath the showy lilac bushes, a thick carpet of deep-purple grape hyacinths played host to a robust constituency of honeybees.

With the honeybees keeping a low profile, the blatant stars of yesterday's pollinator show were the dozens of carpenter bees doing their thing on the glamorous azaleas near the garden's main entrance. I love the vigor and heft of these fuzzy, burly bees, especially in the context of the showy azaleas.The carpenter bees showed a special fondness for the neon-pink azaleas, and virtually no interest in the purple, red, or white ones. There was plenty of C-bee action on the purple wisteria, though, so I'm guessing the non-pink azaleas were not giving nectar yesterday or were simply offering a less delectable flavor profile. It raises interesting questions about what draws a bee to a particular plant at a particular time. The nuances are endless.
Lucky for me, the C-bees were so enraptured with the azaleas that I was able to get close enough with my iPhone to grab a few shots. There's something terribly 1940s about azaleas, don't you think? And (going out on a springy limb here) something so Orson Welles-like about carpenter bees (think driving force, ambition, unapologetic conspicuousness).

Thus it was that, while reveling in all the bee-on-bud action yesterday, my mind unfurled a full-blown mental mash-up involving a Technicolor version of Sunset Boulevard + Busby Berkeley dance moves + Paul Masson wine ad—all populated solely by hearty, gallivanting C-bees. Beware spring's potent cocktail of hot pink flowers, aromatic lilac, and shimmering pollinator charm.

3 comments:

Levinson Axelrod said...

Really nice shots of the bees.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Fantastic photos, and all the more impressive for having been shot with your phone.

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Thanks Levinson, Lisa, and Robb...it's always great when the bees cooperate!