feasting on pollen

Back in Minnesota, the peonies have just about finished blooming.  Their fragrance and color make them a hit in my garden, but the bees and flies seem to love their pollen.

syrphid fly eating peony pollen

Very small hoverflies, not much bigger than the anthers of the peony, crawled around on them searching for some pollen to eat.

syrphid fly eating peony pollen-

Their eyes almost match the color of the peony petals.

bee pollinating peony-

What looked like small bumblebees were gathering pollen on their enlarged back legs

bee pollinating peony-

And then there was this strange bee mimicking fly…

Another species of hoverfly, perhaps an Eristalis species, hovered around the flowers and sat on the leaves.  It looks just like a small bumble bee, except for those very large eyes (bees are smaller with space between them on the top of their head) and the very short antennae (bees are longer and project diagonally outward from the head, rather than forward like these do).

Another species of hoverfly, perhaps an Eristalis species, hovered around the flowers and sat on the leaves. It looks just like a small bumble bee, except for those very large eyes (bees are smaller with space between them on the top of their head) and the very short antennae (bees are longer and project diagonally outward from the head, rather than forward like these do).  And of course, this one is obviously not collecting pollen on its rear legs.

It’s amazing what you see when you look closely on and inside of these beautiful flowers.

peony-

11 thoughts on “feasting on pollen

  1. I love the way that you have surrounded us with the gorgeous colors of the peonies, Sue, by looking do deeply inside. I really like the way that you were able to showcase the pattern on the bodies of the hoverflies and am totally fascinated by the bee mimic.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mike. I shot these photos in anticipation of some requirements of one of the future levels of my Arcanum experience. We’ll see how my cohort likes my attempts, and then I’ll post some edited versions of these.

    • Thanks, Margaret. I love peonies — it’s so sad they last such a short time. Why haven’t the horticulture folks invented a long-blooming variety?

    • I almost missed the peonies this year — there was just one bush left that had those big gorgeous flowers just opening. That color is just amazing!

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