Tag Archive | bees

A Bee’s Zzzz’s

Photo by J M Neely

Cuddle bee, huddle bee

Curled up in the middle bee

Meet me in your flower chair

Waving on a long stem-stair

Hush the rush of pollen hunting

Curl up in a blossom bunting

Fold your wings and thank the sun

Bee content… your work is done


— by Ruth Gilmore Ingulsrud


Photo by J M Neely


≈ Pollen Pillow ≈

This photo of two sleepy bees catching some zzz’s brought me to my knees! Amaz-zzing! Thanks to photographer J M Neely’s skill and patience with the camera, the image of two bees curled up in ying-yang perfection inside an orange Globe Mallow plant was captured and has been making the rounds on social media. These bees do often curl up in their favorite flower to fall asleep. What a lovely place to snooze.

These globe mallow bees, from the hot, dry climates of the Western United States, differ from the more commonly-recognized honey bees.

Photo by J M Neely

Globe mallow bees do not live in hives and do not produce honey like honey bees. They live alone, (solitary like most bees actually), and the females create individual homes or apartments for each baby bee in the ground.

The growing bee larvae is provided nutrition by the mom-bee in the form of a yummy pollen-loaf. She makes this by gathering pollen from the globe mallow flowers that she visits. She packs the pollen grains into long hairs on her hind legs as she flies from flower to flower. She then mixes the pollen grains with nectar and packs it into the small tunnel or bee-baby nursery room under the ground. When the baby bee hatches out, it can start eating its nutritious pollen-loaf.

Bees live very busy lives and need their rest. Most sleep at night, but can also take naps during the day. Bees need sleep just like humans. If they do not get the sleep that they need, it becomes harder for them to do their jobs. When bees sleep, their posture changes. Their wings fold down against their bodies, they curl up in flowers or cling to stems. Their antennae droop down. Even their body temperature drops. If they are in a deep sleep, it takes time and a lot of bright sunlight to wake them.

Photo by GurayDere from Flicker

While solitary female bees have their nests to go to at night to get some sleep, most male bees (of the non-honey-bee variety) have nowhere to sleep. They will find flowers or the stem of a plant to attach to and go to sleep. They will often sleep in groups, with male bees of the same species lined up together.

The photo shown here (on the right) was taken by Dino J. Martins, an entomologist (insect scientist) from Kenyan who loves bugs. He admires a type of bee from east Africa called the “amegilla bee.” It flies fast, works hard and has a high-pitched buzz. At night, the males often find grass or plant stems near swamps or moist places where they stop to sleep for the night. The amegilla bee is only one type of bee among the over 20,000 species that have been identified worldwide. Unfortunately, one out of every four wild bee species is in danger of becoming extinct, or disappearing completely.

While honey bees produce honey and are valuable to humans for this sweet product, all types of bees are important. They all help to pollinate plants which provide us and all living creatures with food.

Boxes of bees are even trucked around the country to farms that grow fruits, nuts and other crops so that the plants will be pollinated by the busy bees. These bees are so valuable that sometimes, the hives are even stolen by bee-rustlers!

A small 8-ounce jar of Manuka money from New Zealand can cost as much as 60 U.S. dollars! So the bees that make honey from the flowering manuka shrub are very valuable as well. Farmers have begun adding cameras to their farms and attaching tracking devices to their bee hives in order to protect themselves from theft. Since bee populations have been decreasing in the past few years because of disease, chemicals and stress on the insects, bees have become even more valuable.

So if you happen upon a sleeping bee, let it be! These valuable little critters need their sleep. They really do need to catch their z’s!


Author’s Note:

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Humble Bee

On Bee’s Knees  

Yellow-Banded Bumble Bee

Yellow-Banded Bumble Bee


Oh, I’m a humble bumble bee

A yellow-banded stumble bee

Our numbers tumble down so low

That crops will crumble as we go


My cousins fill up comb and hive  fig03

These busy buzzers work and strive

And honey is not all bees do

We pollinate the fruit trees too


But when you spray your pesticides

You kill the skill a bee provides

I’m begging you on bended knee

Don’t let this be the end of me


Save the bees! Please.  

– by Ruth Gilmore Ingulsrud



The yellow banded bumble bee is in trouble. It used to be common in the United States and southern Canada, but now it is hard to find these busy little insects. These bees pollinate important plants like potatoes, tomatoes, alfalfa, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries and other edible crops. Because bumble bees can fly in lower temperatures than other types of bees, they are important pollinators in northern, cooler climates.

The wild lands that support the bees have been disappearing. Herbicides and pesticides (sprays that kill weeds and insects)  have been killing the bees by making them weak and susceptible to disease. People can help to reverse the disappearance of bee populations by helping to create gardens and open plots of land that provide flowers and habitat to please the bees. We can stop using harmful pesticides and petition governments and stores to ban pesticides.

Bees need us and we need bees. Let’s help each other…. Please!