Carpenter is the way to bee

A large Carpenter Bee is feeding on a Coreopsis flower. Note the pollen on the rear legs.

Gardens are great places to hang out. I can spend a lot of time just watching the non-human activity. From a distance, I watch birds hunting in and around the plants, and retreating as I get closer. Insects allow me to get closer still. Some are shy and stay out of view, others are so busy that as long as I stay out of their way, they keep working in plain sight. There are the leaf-eating and sap-sucking pests I’ll work to remove, or encourage my insect predators to remove for me. But among the busiest are the bees, pollinating flowers as they pick up food – nectar and pollen – for themselves and their young.

There’s got to be something about nectar . . . I’ve tasted nectar. Perhaps you’ve sucked it from honeysuckle flowers, too. It’s really sweet, but you know it has to be more than sugar water, right? How could hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and all those other creatures eating from our flowers get all the nutrition they need from sugar water?

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