Where are All the Bees?

by Em
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On the rare dry days we’ve had in between all the rainstorms over the last month, I’ve made it a point to go outside and check all the flowerbeds for pollinators. After seven days in a row I’ve only recorded one honeybee and no bumblebees. Where are they?

A photo of bee balm in bloom

Earlier this year I saw queen bumblebees flying around looking for new nest sites, and honeybees were visiting my birdbaths. Well, they were until all the rain came and they no longer needed that source of water.

I grow thousands of flowers each year including many native perennials. My neighbor has switched to almost all native plants and I don’t see any bees or wasps on her plants either.

Last week my friend and I hiked through a prairie to look for grassland birds. We saw so many beautiful wildflowers in bloom, but I didn’t see any honeybees or bumblebees there either. Does the excess rain have anything to do with it?

Thankfully butterflies seem to be abundant this year, like this pretty Painted Lady:

A photo of a Painted Lady butterfly

And I’ve seen several Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies in my backyard already:

A photo of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

You may notice a theme. They love the ‘Meteor Shower’ verbena flowers I planted in May.

I’ve also seen plenty of Red Admiral butterflies in my yard. Recently one kept landing on an occupied wren house to bask in the sun, and I was wondering if mom would just snatch the easy pickins for her nestlings, but she didn’t.

A photo of a Red Admiral butterfly

Where are all the bees?

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