Sunday, July 11, 2010

That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen

I have been pondering in the garden lately how there seemed to be a lack of bees to feed on the magnificent bright yellow flowers of the squash and pumpkins growing this summer. Thus creating anxiety about a fall harvest. Although there seems to be no lack of squirrels to feed on the young green tomatoes.

This early morning I noticed a single bee working a morning flower of the squash and pumpkins. Every morning there are dozens of new morning flowerings but rarely any bees collecting their pollen. I was so excited I grabbed the camera and had to take a photo of this new welcomed friend. Well, after capturing my bee pictures I stepped back from the garden and noticed something truly remarkable. It wasn't just one bee but probably a dozen of them working the some ten feet of graden flowering.

I stepped back a little further and suddenly noticed that a couple of the bees just swarmed the whole length of the flowering as to stake out or mark the area for collecting the pollen. These 'marker' bees would seemingly 'tag' each flowering but often just quickly moved to the next flowering along the length of the field of flowering. Once they had 'tagged' all the flowerings the 'markers' would return to the start of the flowerings. Continually repeating this cycle.

It appears as if the 'markers' had no intent to collect the pollen other than mark the area as to which the other bees gathered the pollen. Sure enough upon closer inspection another set of bees were actually collecting the pollen from each of the flowerings. The 'collectors' would bury themselves into the flowering collecting the pollen and finally move to the next flowering. The 'markers' continued to 'tag' each flowering as the 'collectors' worked to gather the pollen.

My first assumption was that the 'taggers' were acting out a 'Port-A-John' theory of 'Oh, this one is taken?, I'll move on.' but instead they were seemingly telling the 'collectors' where the 'Port-A-John' actually were. Also of note was that the 'taggers' nor the 'collectors' seem to be protective of their flowerings as you could see other insects and even Sweat Bees investagating the flowerings without confrontation.

There maybe hope for our garden yet this year.

God Bless that which we can not see.

Which reminds me of the writings of Frédéric Bastiat - That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen. You know, the Broken Window?

Have a Great Summer and Remember November!

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