sonic buzz

A little earlier in the season, the bumblebees had been very active on my rhodos and azaleas. I noticed that the bees would dive into the blossom head first to get at the nectar at the center of the bloom, but they would also hover at the ends of the long stamens, performing arial gymnastics, and  buzzing away in a different tone,’sonic pollinating,’ coaxing the anther to release its pollen. This is so cool to watch. The change in tone is clearly audible. I read an article by Buchmann et als that states that bumblebees don’t actively collect pollen from rhodos, but these little guys certainly did and do.

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