Monday, May 2, 2011

A Short Mid-Season Post

In my last post, I was patiently waiting for field season to start. And then, all of a sudden, it did -- a few warm days and blueberry bloom was off and running.

Today was an easier day -- it would have been our seventh day of data collection (we need fourteen this year), but the morning was too cool and overcast to be a "good bee day", so the crew and I came back to the lab for a much-needed day of bee pinning and downtime.

I've also had a chance to go through some of my photos, and I even took a few more today of the various critters that visit the honeysuckle bush at the field station. One of the nicest things about staying here is looking out the window while I'm cooking or washing dishes and watching bumblebees visiting flowers. They get absolutely covered in pollen. It's fantastic.

I'm not going to write a whole lot tonight (more data collection tomorrow, so I need to get to sleep soon!) but here are a few photos of what I've been seeing out in the field. The white bell-shaped flowers are blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum, highbush blueberry). Enjoy!

Bumblebee (Bombus) species mid-flight.


This is my best Habropoda laboriosa photo to date, you can actually see her face in this one, yay! Also take a look at all the pollen on her legs! I wish her hundreds of fat children.

Fun fact: "Habs" are actually as soft as they look!



One of the best parts of my field work (and also one of the most frustrating) is feeding bees by hand. Here you can see my triumphant feeding of a Colletes spp. female, who has just visited one of the open flowers near the top of the cluster. At the bottom you can just see my hand holding the water tube; this flower was eventually taken back to the lab and is now a data point in training!

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