Friday, October 8, 2010


So, earlier this week (Wednesday I think) I was surprised to see two honeybees on one of the hummingbird feeders. First, because I've seen so few honeybees this year (it was a bad year for insects all round, but esp. for honeybees), and second because I've never seen one try to get at the hummingbird's nectar before -- yellowjackets try on occasion (but they've been rare this year too -- too cold and too dry, I think), and we have a good many bumblebees on the bee-bush in back, but the honeybees were a surprise. I think this is our third year of having the hummingbird feeders on the balcony, and this marks a new first.

Then the next day there were five honeybees on one feeder and six on the other. The hummingbirds don't seem to like it. They can deal with the wasps, with both sides mutually buzzing the other, but the bees settle in and won't budge. I cd put on the bee-guards that come with the feeders, but that seems hard on the bees (who are having a hard time of it anyway, what with Colony Collapse Disorder and all).

And about the same the day after (today). I don't think it'll be too long before the bees are gone for the year, so the hummingbirds shd be okay. But it's odd they appeared so suddenly. Perhaps they came because the other sources of food (flowers, blossoms) are disappearing for the fall. We'll see how long they keep coming up, and how the hummingbirds deal with it.

--John R.

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