Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring Hymenoptera

Some of the most conspicuous insects at the Fen last weekend were bees and ants. In the recently burned over areas, the ant mounds become very visible. The ants, of course, were largely unharmed by the fire because they are safely underground. In a prairie fire, the soil temperature changes little just a couple of centimeters below the surface.

I'm pretty sure that these ants are in the genus Formica. They were very active in the warm temperatures on Saturday.

Meanwhile, willows are producing abundant pollen at the moment. The bees really like it. There were hundreds of bees from several species all over this black willow, though they were hard to photograph.

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At 00:04, Blogger Ur-spo said...

I am glad to hear there are bees about.
I worry about them, with the bats.

At 19:49, Blogger cedrorum said...

glad to hear spring is arriving up there in the arctic. I went out in the field last Friday without my nuked field outfit and got chiggers. They suck. First time I've had them since about 2001.

At 22:40, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Spo- I still worry about them, particularly the honeybees

cedrorum- Chiggers SUCK!!! Well OK, I know they don't literally suck, they do their evil in other ways. I feel your pain.

At 10:08, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Good to see those pollinators at work!


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