Of bees and chiggers

Hi everyone,

For the past two days I’ve been watching a bumblebee flying back and forth above a pair of blooming bushes in a small alcove between our bedroom and living room. She never lands. Around and around she flies like a bouncer partolling the perimeter of her responsibility. When I stand close to the blossoms, she flies to within a foot or so of my face and gives me a careful once over before dashing off to check on some other potential threat. IMAG1310

The bush is covered with insects and spiders. Lots of other bumblebees come and go, land for a while on this blossom or that; butterflies and skippers are well represented as are wasps and various bees and smaller winged creatures. Yet the bumblebee never rests.

What do you think? Can insects have mental issues? Is this one serving a purpose for her sister bumblebees? Is she a tourist? A drone? I can’t decide.

Thanks to Chris Craig and Gale Clithero for another fun outting of Bryon Biggers Band last week at the Brentwood Library in Springfield, Missouri. And to branch manager Kim Flores, thank you for posting videos of two of our pieces. There were a lot of kids there with their parents and they really got into the spirit of the music. Byron Biggers is the name of one of the poems in our program. It’s about an unfortunate man who scratched himself to death in a lonely Ozark chigger patch. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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9 comments on “Of bees and chiggers

  1. It may be a carpenter bee. It sounds like the ones we have in our backyard. Look for signs of sawdust as an indicator.

    • Thanks, Gretchen. I’ll check today. We’ve always had bumblebees in our yard so I didn’t examine these very carefully. I’ll let you know later today when we have. I appreciate your comment.

      • Gretchen, I found a carpenter bee a few minutes ago resting on a patio umbrella. I’m afraid you may be right about my situation. If the sun ever comes out and the rest of the insect gangs return to the bushes, I’ll check the other big bees more carefully too.

  2. David
    I’ve had a huge bee riding on the wind currents just like yours.
    On Long Island, they drilled into the wood siding; but here I have aluminum. Wonder if they’re finding the wood frame under the roof shingles. Can’t do the ladder any more. Guess I’ll share.
    Jeanne

    • Hi, Jeanne. If this rain ever lets up I’ll go on a scavenger hunt for bee holes. I bet there are some somewhere although I’ve never spotted any before.

  3. Your picture is beautiful, David. We fought carpenter ants at a former cabin one time, scary attack. Do check! And as for the chiggers, one of the few reasons I’m glad I’m not in MO anymore. Awful things!

    • Thank you, Linda. They can be real pests. Most of our house is brick so it’s fairly easy to take stock of what wood there is. So far I’ve not discovered any sign of insect damage but will keep looking today. As for chiggers, just look what they did to poor Bryon Biggers!

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