Lights! Cameras! Pollen!

So now there are bees and pollinators all over the front garden. Especially bumblebees. Judy took these videos with her phone. This first one is mostly bumblebees on the Wild Bergamot. Judy says these bees are rather hyperactive and difficult to keep in the frame.

Bumblebees always seem so industrious, but also cute. Maybe because they’re furry-looking.

Still very few butterflies, though.

Here’s another video featuring big scary-looking black wasps and other pollinators on the swamp milkweed.

These wasps have never stung me, and I try to stay out of their personal space.

Watching bees in the garden is one of my favorite things, I find it almost mesmerizing.

64 Comments on “Lights! Cameras! Pollen!

  1. Bravo to you Jason! You have inspired me as a gardener!! I wish there were more people who cared for the bees and nature the way you do! Great videos!

    • I think your kids at least will grow up loving nature and understanding how we need the bees more than the other way around.

  2. I too love bees in the garden. I could watch them all day. I have never seen a wasp like that one though!

  3. Those wasps do look scary, but often the scariest ones are the least harmful! Love the little videos – nice idea!

  4. Nice videos. My monardas are also popular with the bees. I hope the butterflies will find the way to your garden.

  5. Are you finding more or less bees this year? Glad we don’t have that black wasp, our thin waisted ones are scary enough, they look related.

    • We normally have LOTS of bees. Before July they were almost eerily absent. More recently there are far more, but still a little less than normal.

  6. Nice vids Jason. I’m intrigued by the bergamot; have you ever used it to flavour anything, like earl grey-style tea?

  7. I have a hard enough time getting still shots of these insects! Your wife did a great job. The wasp is a digger wasp called a great black wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) I was just taking photos of one over the weekend, and hope I’ve identified it correctly.

      • I have the Peterson Field Guide for Insects, but it doesn have many color pictures. When I use it I hope that it puts me in the ball park and then I look for a color example online.

  8. I’m lucky I see lots of bees here, but as you have commented, fewer butterflies this year. Saw a cabbage moth (ick!) yesterday and a swallowtail. I’ve seen very few skippers this year, and just a couple Karner blue (We have lots of protected habitat around here, so they typically don’t seem endangered here, although I never see them outside this area).

    • Very cool that you have the Karner Blues. I managed to get a photo of a monarch yesterday, I’ve seen them four or five times so far but this is the only photo of the year. Usually at this time there are two or three monarchs hanging around every day.

  9. Brilliant Bees eye view of your plants, I am really enjoying your blog, its as creative as your garden.

  10. I’ve never seen wasps like that before; I can see why you stay out of their way! We usually see the large, really aggressive yellow and black striped ones here, plus quite a few smaller ones that I couldn’t ID if I tried. Great videos – I agree with you, bumblebees do have a cuteness factor!

    • We get those yellow jackets too, they are the bane of picnics in August/September. I am pretty hopeless myself at doing IDs of insects.

  11. With wasps like that, I think you’re very wise to get Judy to film while you bee watch πŸ˜‰ Your garden is a great credit to you – how wonderful that your plants are the cafe of choice for pollinators. Enjoy watching the bees – every time I see one I want to photograph it, so bee watching in our garden is not the most relaxing of pursuits!

  12. Jason, the wasps in your garden help to the plants but I prefer to stay far away off I’m afraid of bees and wasps.

  13. I agree — it’s just fascinating to watch bees and they are indeed very hyperactive — flying here and there constantly.

  14. You’re a good garden steward by having plenty of pollinator friendly plants, well done!! And yes, I’d stay out of the way of those wasps as well.

  15. Bumblebees are so cute & I also love watching them. A couple of my neighbors keep bees so I get to watch honey bees all over the place too! How lucky am I? It’s a free and natural buzz!

    • We had a huge furor here when someone started keeping bees. Some of the neighbors demanded that the bees be kept in the hive owner’s yard.

      • That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard in a while. Did they want your neighbor to net their entire yard? I love the videos–I could watch bees for hours, too.

  16. Hi Jason, I know the feeling. Our lavender bushes are covered with bees and butterflies and it’s just lovely watching them fly from flower to flower. I’ve never seen so many in such a short space. I don’t think any other plant we have in the garden get so much attention.

  17. I think your scary wasp is Great Black Wasp Sphex pensylvanicus. They sting, but are not aggressive. I have loads of them here and never got stung either. Their natural food source is milkweed among others such as goldenrod. Butterflies are really absent this year. I did some research and the scientific findings are not too rosy. I will be posting on it soon.

  18. How fun! I agree that those teddy-bear bumbly bees are so cuddly looking. And I’ve never known one to sting anybody so I believe they are basically friendly and also cheerful and maybe they read a lot in the evenings and have some hobbies, like collecting something–perhaps tiny rocks– which keeps them from getting depressed or grumpy… But I really wanted to say that Judy did a great job with the videos, very steady which I know isn’t easy with a phone camera, and I completely enjoyed watching!

  19. tell Judy thank you, I especially enjoyed the bees on the wild bergamot, what a shame you haven’t many butterflies, your front garden seems a pollinators dream restuarant, Frances

  20. I agree; I think bees are mesmerizing. I haven’t seen many butterflies in the previous weeks but they are starting to be more common. Maybe they’ll put in their proper appearance for you soon.

  21. Hi Jason! I love watching the bees too and I’m sure we have more this year. We also have miles more butterflies than normal! Adam declared this as the ‘year of the butterfly’! No crazy wasps though!! I’d be staying out of their space too πŸ™‚

  22. I’m going to put the bergamot and other pollinator friendly plants in a swathe through the orchard.

  23. Is that Joe Pie weed in your photos? Mine is new, and hasn’t opened yet, so I am not sure.


  24. I never mind bees in the garden, or even wasps. I just plant their favorites a little further away from from the patio. Just please keep those pesky yellow jackets away. Finally saws few monarchs over the weekend!

  25. We’ve had plenty of bumblebees and wasps, but few butterflies. The monarchs don’t usually show up until the middle of August here, though. I’ve seen a few swallowtails, both black and yellow, and there are a fair number of Skippers and Cabbage Whites around. It seems like we’ve had more than the usual number of dragonflies, though, and I see a couple of hummingbirds in the Monarda every day.

    • We usually have lots of skippers, but this year none at all. Sounds like you have lots of pollinator activity in your garden. For us, it’s mostly the bees and wasps, with occasional hummingbirds and rare butterflies.

  26. Jason, since you would like to know where readers are from: or The one I referenced on the blog was Revolver Maps. I never open it and really was floored to see how many locals I actually had visiting. Stat Counter gives more info, but is not a constantly loading live viewer. It has to be refreshed with each view. If you open Revolver Maps, they start their count at view 1. It will not be the same tally as what your blog lists as visitors.

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