Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How Sweet

August 11, 2012
Hudson River, South Glens Falls, NY


How sweet is the perception of a new natural fact !
Suggesting what worlds remain to be unveiled.
HDT Journal, April 19, 1952


[These photos are from over a month ago... after this we will be zooming forward into the present time ! Sorry to say, that will mean skipping over some great times with my walking and paddling friends, but it's the only way I am ever going to get caught up !
Now, back to that warm day in August...:]
 
While paddling past the lily-pads, which are now quite torn and tattered,
I observed something new.

The pads are sprinkled with lots of gritty specks at this time of year  --  some sort of bug perhaps.
I never really looked too closely before.  

The new thing was, today I saw honeybees landing on the pads – the flowers themselves being few and far between now.

 

I stopped (as best one can on a moving river) and watched one bee to see what she was up to.

She scuttled around the surface of the pad, amongst the bugs.
Was she eating them?
Their numbers didn’t seem to be diminished when the bee lifted off and visited another pad nearby.


video
 
What was going on?
I noticed other honeybees landing on other pads.
Were they drinking water?

It wasn’t till I got home and looked at the photos I had taken of this curious behavior.

After enlarging some earlier photos onscreen, the bugs resembled aphids. Hmm.

 

Ants will sometimes “milk” aphids, stimulating them to produce a sweet drop of liquid called honeydew.

After some internet searching, I came up with this link.
It’s been a very dry summer. Perhaps there are less flowers producing less nectar at this time of year.
So the honeybees go abroad, looking for sweetness wherever they can.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing observations and photos! Isn't it wonderful what we see when we open our eyes and pay attention?

    ReplyDelete