Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Beauty in simplicity

Clover, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.

The common clover is usually overlooked unless you happen to be walking through a lawn while barefoot and you step on a bee. The last time that happened to me was when I was in third grade. The resultant reaction led to me being tested for a bee sting allergy. Seven years of allergy shots later, I now only have a mild reaction, but I still carry an Epi-pen.

My mother was pretty shocked years ago when she found out that I regularly go nose-to-nose with bees while doing fieldwork. I figure they won't bother me if I'm not interfering with their foraging activities. That holds for most species of bees, but not all. I've been pretty fortunate thus far.


Anniespickns said...

What a coincidence in topics. I went to a native bee walk and talk on Saturday. The UC Berkeley researchers who spoke said that bees only care about three things pollen, nectar and sex. That's it, They really aren't interested in stinging unless they feel threatened. So your theory is right on.

Andi Wolfe said...

That sounds like an awesome event!

I actually enjoy watching bees work. In the pollination studies I've done, I've noticed that bees and wasps are very efficient at getting pollen and nectar from a flower - even ones they aren't suitable for pollinating. The coevolution of bees and flowers has been one of the most interesting things to learn about in all my years of being a botanist.