Honeybee + sunflower

Dear All
Greetings – just back in Kenya after various travels. There is a sunflower on the breakfast table and I watched a honeybee visited it this morning in the dreamy African sunshine…

Sunflower in morning light

Sunflower in morning light

Honeybees love sunflowers!

Honeybees love sunflowers!

The honeybee was after pollen – here is a close up of the anthers:

Anthers - the part of the flower that bear pollen

Anthers - the part of the flower that bear pollen

The honeybee lifts itself into the air and hovers, gently combing the pollen from it’s body into the pollen baskets on it’s legs.

Honeybee combing pollen into it's pollen baskets while hovering.

Honeybee combing pollen into it's pollen baskets while hovering.

Without honeybees, the sunflowers would not be well pollinated and would not produce the sunflower seeds that are made into oil and many other useful and delicious things. The honeybees on the sunflowers are both beautiful to watch and also to know that they are making the sunflower seeds happen through pollination.

The honeybees collect the pollen for their own use. They feed it to their larvae, which helps them grow into healthy strong bees. The sunflower produces lots of pollen, and the honeybees spill it and rub it around as they move about the flower. This results in pollination. Both honeybees and sunflowers benefit from this arrangement. A truly balanced partnership (or love affair!) from Nature.

More from the world of bugs soon!

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