This pattern has been reflected all over North America and in other world regions as well - 2011 was the hottest year on record (a few hundred years of dependable records), and 2012 is on pace to blow that new record out of the water. At last count, 7 of the last 10 years have been in the top 10 "hottest years on record," and 56% of the United States is in a "severe drought." It's freaking hot, Mr. Bigglesworth. Academic careerism aside, the climate is changing.
But the bees keep working, despite every mathematical odd against their survival through the next month, let alone the next winter. Despite the inevitability that humans will introduce or cultivate - perhaps intentionally, perhaps not - more pest organisms that are damaging to bee populations, and despite the fact that too many people I know teach their children to "kill all bees" on sight. And despite the fact that New York City's newfound ability to "allow" people to own bees has depressingly shown that bees do not have enough forage to survive in New York City in significant numbers.
Despite all of that, the bees keep working, because that is their only reality.
|Honeybee drunk on pollen - Marsh Hibiscus|
|Hoverfly posing as a bee in Morning Glory var. "Jamie Lynn"|
|Bumblebee on Smooth Coneflower var. "Magnus"|
|Garden, "Center view", July 29|
|Carpenter Bee on Bee Balm var. "Petite Delight"|
|Carpenter Bee on Bienenfreund aka "Bees Friend" aka Phacelia tanacetifolia|
|Honeybee on Bee Balm var. "Raspberry Wine"|
|One of my Sierra (CA) Audubon-style bee houses surrounded by Joe Pye Weed var. "Phantom." |
Biggest users of the bee house in 2011 were Sweat Bees - currently active in the garden
|Bumblebee on my Wild Bergamot - more on that story soon. |
Note the powdery mildew starting to show up...