Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What happens to a bee that gets caught in the rain...

We have been getting LOTS of rain this summer. And, too much rain can put a damper on the pollination activities going on in the garden. While, we can just open up our umbrella or find shelter indoors and continue going about our day, it isn't so easy for the pollinators. Bees don't really like to fly in the rain. So what happens if a bee gets caught out in the rain?

Well, if you are a bee that has been working out, maybe carrying a few extra loads of pollen back to the hive, you might decide ride out the storm by hanging out under one of nature's umbrella. Or if you are in dire straits you may just be hanging on for dear life!


A leaf may provides a decent amount of shelter but requires some muscle and expertise to not get knocked off by a falling raindrop. If a raindrop where to hit a bee it would be the equivalent of a bathtub full of water hitting you or I. As you can imagine this would not end well for a bee.


Hopefully this guy isn't afraid of heights! He is pretty high up on this cone flower leaf and moisture on bees wings definitely disturbs the aerodynamics of flight.


Once the rain stops, it requires the drying off of the legs, slowly one at a time and then some herculean strength to pull oneself up dripping wet.


A little rest and drying the wings is required before take off


and then back to the business of pollen collecting with his friends.


Strangely enough, bees seem to know if it is going to just be a brief shower or down pour. One time while I was out photographing the bees it started to sprinkle. The bees went about their business not at all bothered by the rain. However, later that day when darker clouds rolled in and it started to drizzle they all took off. I can't help but wonder if it has something to do with the amount of available light since they use sun to help with their navigation.

Better be safe than sorry. You wouldn't want to end up like this again.


Because here comes another monsoon...

Next up, I will be celebrating the quintessential summer flower...the sunflower

12 comments:

  1. Your posts about animal and plant stories are so entertaining, Karin. It's truly amazing how animals seem to know what will happen next in nature. I wonder if sometimes it's the barometric pressure? I often get a headache just before a major storm, and I get an uneasy feeling. Great post!

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  2. Wonderful photos! I'll have to take take a closer look under the leaves during the next rainfall! :)

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  3. How wonderful, love the pictures!

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  4. Wonderful catch! I've never seen one hanging off the underside of a leaf like that.

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  5. Looks like the bumblebee is doing pull ups. Great capture!

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  6. Cute pose on the bee. Lucky it could hang on like that. Nice capture Karin.

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  7. I always wondered what bees do in the rain. Thanks for an entertaining and informative post - and some great photos.

    I've been wondering if the days of consecutive rain were the reason several of my baby squashes never got pollinated. They had rotten ends that were being eaten by some type of worm. I read online that when female squashes don't get pollinated, the blossom drops off and they rot.

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  8. What a fantastic set of photos!! You must have been very patient to get these shots.

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  9. I have a large garden near a pool...there are a few things I save...why, (too much empathy) I thin...to name a few..frogs, bees, mice..and even voles..the japanese beetle...(sad to say) I'm glad are in there.

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  10. How on earth did you get these photos? They are amazing! I always assumed that bees went back home to their nests and waited things out. Apparently not!

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  11. What great captures of some smart and resilient bees...I never knew they hid under leaves hanging on for dear life...love it!!

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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