Where The Bees Are

Whenever it is time to snap some images of the various pollinators around the Fairegarden, the camera looks to what is blooming at the moment. Right now, there is not a whole lot in bloom, so the search is more narrow. The native species tall garden Phlox paniculata is the first stop. Click. It is somewhat easy to take a photo of a sleeping bee. You can tell they are sleeping by their wings neatly folded.

Shasta daisy ‘Becky’, Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ has just started to open, and customers are flocking to partake.

The herb tansy, Tanacetum vulgare is popular, as well.

Purple prairie clover, Dalea purpurea is having its best year ever. Only one plant out of three purchased has survived, but a nice mulch this spring seems to have been to its liking. I would love to get more of this, now where did I get it?

The most numerous flowers around this time of year are the purple coneflowers, Echinacea purpurea. This one is E. purpurea ‘Sundown’. Something has been eating the petals of all of the coneflowers, but the pollinators are not interested in those bits, they want the fine dining of the cone of nectar.

There is plenty for all.

I have never noticed bee feet turning up like that before. He must be in ecstasy.

My favorite summer blooming flowers are the lilies, all of them, large, small, scented, unscented, staked or able to stand alone. Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ is the last lily of the season to open here. Five bulbs planted in one large hole in 2007 have given delight year after year without fail. The critters seem to have an appetite for them, too.

Uh oh, this guy is having a bit of trouble finding the sweet spot.

Ahhhh, found it!

If you are wondering how this garden happens to have so many pollinators, this signage might offer a clue. My dear friend Gail of Clay and Limestone featured the Xerces Society on a blog post here and I duly sent off for one of these nifty signs. I didn’t have to do anything different or special to qualify as a pollinator or wildlife habitat, it’s more what we don’t do that is important. No spraying of pesticides or poisons, grow a diverse bounty of flowering native plants, offer brushpiles and have just a sort of messy garden that offers habitat. Something to eat, someplace to live, no insecticide. Easy peasy. These signs are more than just cool, they spread the word to neighbors and passersby that might otherwise not know how important the critters are to our world and how they can find out more about how to help. All good.

Some of you might have had a flashback when reading the title to this post. Change the word bees to boys and you have the title of a movie and song from long ago that featured the songbird Connie Francis. I love this video of her singing to the troops in Berlin, Germany, 1961.


This entry was posted in wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Where The Bees Are

  1. gail says:

    Dear Frances, I love this post! Love the bees and their flowers! Love that you joined the Xerces Society, love the sign display and wow, do I love the Prairie clover! That’s a beauty….must see if it will grow here!
    So cool to capture bees visiting the lilies and that last guy looks like he’s asleep at the petal! Thank you for the kind linkage. xoxoGail PS Did you see Connie F in the movie “Where The Boys Are”?

    Dear Gail, many thanks to you for featuring the Xerces Society. Bees and their problems are in the news recently but I believe in my neighborhood, they our taken for granted. The Praired clover is gorgeous, looking at my old receipts, I see it came from Seed Savers Exchange as little seedlings. No longer offered but worth looking for. I loved Connie in that movie, too.

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Oh Frances, you are just the bees knees! Thanks for all the wonderful pictures and for Connie. It’s a great way to start my birthday day! Many thanks.

    Happy Birthday to you, Barbara! I hope your day is filled with wonderful!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You always find the perfect song to go with your theme. Love it. Have a great weekend hanging where the boys, I mean bees are.

    Thanks Lisa. It seems my brain is full of old song lyrics that bubble up when I am writing posts. HA You too have a lovely weekend.

  4. Rose says:

    Your photos are fantastic, Frances! I love the ones where the bees seem rather intoxicated by too much pollen. You and Gail have done a great job of spreading the word about helping the pollinators; with all the problems bees are having these days, they need all the help they can get from gardeners.

    Ahh, Connie Francis–brings back memories:)

    Thanks Rose. The bees sometimes are very slow when they have been partaking, it’s true. It makes the photographer’s life much easier! Glad you remember Ms. Francis, too.

  5. Delightful post all the way around and ending it with the Connie Francis video made it perfection. I had just come in from picking blueberries and had a nice warm and cozy nostalgic feeling going on as it was…so it really suited my mood to revisit earlier times. Thanks.

    Thanks Michaele. That sounds like a perfect morning, blueberries, oldie tunes, suggestions of water from garden plants. Glad to have added to you day!

  6. Leslie says:

    I am now going to look for the folded wings sign of a sleeping bee. I love these gems of information!

    Good deal, Leslie. The sleeping bees are so sweet, and easy to photograph.

  7. I have happily been noticing the bees, flies and other pollinators in the pumpkin patch…if not on the echinacea or lilies, they head for the liatris…the goldenrod is going to open soon and they will be happy again since many of the blooms are fading here…love all your happy pollinators.

    HI Donna, thanks for joining in the conversation here. The goldenrod can always be counted on to keep the pollinators happy, or should I say bee counted on.

  8. Nice–I think I could qualify to display the signs. Thanks for the info! And I thoroughly enjoyed your bee shots–especially the ones looking up into the Lily. Fantastic!

    Hi Plant Postings, thanks so much. Good deal on qualifying for the signs, whether you get them or not. Raising awareness that we, critters and humans and even plants are in this together!

  9. Good bees! 🙂


  10. I agree with the bees. These are great flowers. If I had this much in my “not much in bloom” days, I’d be happy. So… is the black beauty lily fragrant? I’m in love with my casablancas now and thinking about getting more lilies to extend the lily bloom season. Is that a switchgrass with the red on the leaves in the last shot of the purple coneflowers? That’s a really nice combination.

    Hi Sharon, thanks. The lily Black Beauty is fragrant, and quite tall with many, many blooms. The red tipped grass is Japanese blood grass, Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’. It is only about a foot tall, unlike the much larger switchgrass Shenandoah that has red tips. I grow that one in the North Carolina garden.

  11. I just uncovered your blog via Red Dirt. After this I saw this post, I had to subscribe. The ‘Black Beauty’ imagery take this variety to new heights. (HA,HA) I must ask how does one capture these type of close-up imagery? Is it done with the right lens? Looking forward to a long relationship. I can now declare I have a new girlfriend!

    Thanks Patrick. I do like knowing how people find my blog. Through the magic that is wordpress, you also found my blog from Horticulture, too, and left a similar comment on the post about the fear of pruning. I am flattered! About the photography question, I use a Canon Powershot A720 is, a point and shoot that has an exceptional macro feature. Sometimes I get lucky with the light being just right, like the lily shots.

Comments are closed.