Dance of the Bees

• Has A Cactus Ever Met A Bee It Didn’t Like?
bees folk to organ pipe cactus flowers, may 15, 2014, san diego, ca,  photo by anders tomlinson
Nature Attracts In Many Splendid Ways
When these flowers open the surrounding air is sweet and fragrant. They gained my attention when I was some forty feet away and I do not have the most sensitive nose
in the backyard. I wonder at what distance these honey bees were when they became aware something good was happening here? In this photo there is also an unidentified flying insect in the upper left-hand quadrant near the center.

Bees in peruvian apple cactus flower, 05-08-14, san diego, ca, photo by anders tomlinson
Times They Are A Changin’
Busy bees and honey lips are part of our vocabulary. Bees through history has been
held in high regard. Today, many humans are concerned about bees and their health. “Colony collapse disorder” describes abnormally massive bee die-offs across North Amercia in 2007.

There are many types of bees, as many as 20,000 species, and it is their diversity that helps native plants and crops continue to survive. Diversity – a beautiful concept in harms way, challenged by the wants and needs of a growing human population.

bees flock to organ pipe cactus flowers, may 15, 2014, san diego, ca, photo by anders tomlinson
A Working Bee’s Holiday
Cactus with succulent stems, like the Peruvian Apple Cactus, may have started to evolve some 25 million years ago when the central Andes uplifted fostering climate change as more of the planet became arid. At that time Key pollinators were probably bats and night moths. Prehistoric honey bees origins are probably in Southeast Asia and they were brought to the New World by Europeans.

pipe organ cactus flower with bee, san diego, photo by anders tomlinson
Entering the Sweet Land
This visit is one of many that help a hive collect on average 66 pounds of pollen in a year.
It has been estimated that bees fly 48,000 miles in search of nectar to make a quart of honey. Big numbers for a little insect that is part of a big business – pollination.

pipe organ cactus flower with bee, san diego, photo by anders tomlinson
Up-close and Personal
The honey bees are known for their honey and year-round wax colonial nests.
Above is a worker bee foraging. Workers are females and they developed in
21 days. Their duties change as they age: starting with cleaning up their
brood cell, feeding other broods, handling arriving nectar, hive cleanup,
guarding the hive and finally out foraging.
And who removes the dead from the hive, worker bees of course.

pipe organ cactus flower with bee, san diego, photo by anders tomlinson
Bees Came and Left for Hours
There can be as many as 60,000 worker bees in a colony. And where is this colony.
Is it in nearby canyons or a neighboring tree? Where-ever it is there are drones,
workers and queen bees. And there is nectar, beeswax, pollen, proplolis – bee glue,
and there is evolution – natural selection at individual, hive and regional levels.

bees inside organ pipe cactus flower, san diego, ca., 05-18-14.  photo by anders tomlinson.
All In a Day of a Organ Pipe Cactus Flower
There is comfort in watching bees at work. It is normalcy in action. It is organized
societies functioning – one for all. In the past couple of weeks there has been
little morning condensation. On July 17th condensation again coated the white 1987
Ford Escort station wagon with a film of water drops and I returned to my morning
habit of wiping the car dry with a soft towel. This keeps the car clean and reduces
rust in several poorly designed channels. Now, for two days in a row, there has
been condensation and a honey bee on the roof. At first still, apparently disturbed
by my actions, it staggers around before flying off. Does this mean anything?

Video of bees and a cactus bloom

And the world goes round and round with the help of all things great and small.
The Queen of the Night cactus bloom opens up and it’s sweet fragrance fills
the night. With the light of morning bees arrive. At times it is but one.
Here is a moment where a small gang of bees busily gather pollen. By late
afternoon the flower will close and the bloom is over. Music by SonicAtomics.

A Small Big Part of the World We Know

This busy bee is being a busy bee for this is a task that must be done and will be by a busy bee. Praise the busy bee. Protect the busy bee for the bee is me and you. Filmed and edited by Anders Tomlinson. Music by SonicAtomics.

more cactus pags graphic

Meet the Cactus

Organ Pipe cactus bloom

Peruvian Apple cactus bloom

Flowers Coming and Going

Sweet Tasting Cactus Apples

Twin Pipe Organ Cactus Flowers

©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.