Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Carpenter Bees and Georgia Blue Speedwell


Yes, I confess it, I even have some Dead-Nettle growing in the bed next to the house. (Not much.) The bees aren't complaining. :)


They like Georgia Blue Speedwell too, which started blooming in January and will continue until the weather turns hot.




Carpenter Bees make such good photographic subjects. They are not at all skittish, and their size makes them easier to photograph than some of the smaller, fast-moving bees.


18 comments:

  1. I;s dead nettle a plant that people shouldn't 'flaunt'??!! I read something on another post that kind of sounded negative about it. I have some and just love it. It last so long and the purple flowers add such color to my back garden. It spreads but not too fast and doesn't get in the way of other plants (at least not for me). I love your speedwell;-)

    We had a bunch of carpenter bees last year...boy, are they destructive! They are so smart, too...they drilled deep holes evenly around the top of our screened in porch, and started nesting in them. We had to spray in order to keep them away, as they were severely damaging our wood! I hope we don't get them back again this year. I thought your bees look like bumblebees...but obviously not;-/ The carpenter bees I saw weren't as attractive as yours!

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  2. Hi Sweetbay! Aren't they just the bossiest bees ever! They were buzzing around the Blueberry plants and were just that upset that I wanted to take their photos...it wasn't warm outside, so I wrote it off as just a bad day! I love Georgia Blue, the blues are fantastic...Gail

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  3. Hi Sweetbay

    I've got dead nettle and speedwell too, though it's a different blue to yours.

    Although the speedwell pops up everywhere and is a bit of a pain in the a**, it is undeniably pretty, as is dead nettle.

    It's that old adage that a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place.

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  4. I see carpenter bees here mostly in the spring. Seems like there are more since the honey bees have been in decline.

    I've seen some beautiful new varieties of dead nettle lately. I have mostly the old fashioned kind which I like but the new ones have beautiful leaves.
    Marnie

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  5. I have a love/hate relationship with Lamium/Dead Nettle. I like the foliage in the summer, I like the flowers, especially when they exist in November or January, but I hate how it swamps & chokes other plants, and I hate the way it looks right now, with ugly dead stems all over the place. I'm going to rein mine in.
    I learned about Carpenter Bees last year when they started poking holes in my Columbine flowers. They are kind of cool.

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  6. Such beautiful photos as always! You do a great job and the bees just get the benefit of your photography in my humble opinion.

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  7. Sweetbay,

    Guess I don't know what dead nettle is? Not a stepped on nettle is it? We have lots of native false nettle around our willows, it hosts the red Admiral butterfly you know.

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  8. Jan -- This is just Lamium purpureum, but I like it. I was going to yank it to give the iris more light, but there's bees all in it -- it's literally a bee pasture -- and the iris will grow above the Lamium.

    It doesn't appear that the bees are hurting anything structurally here, so we just leave them alone. They are beautiful bees. I am much less anamoured of Paper Wasps, as I have been stung now more times than I can count.

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  9. Gail, they are bossy -- they remind of the knight in the painting at Hogwart's, always challenging someone to a duel. They are like that in the spring when we go in and out of the hay shelter.

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  10. Hi Marnie,

    I have a couple of Dead Nettles that I received in local trades that I'm on the fence about. One looks like Beacon Silver, the other is Petit Point. Beacon Silver doesn't look too happy, and Petit Point is too busy for my taste.

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  11. Hi MMD this is Lamium purpureum, the weedy annual. My Lamium maculatum doesn't look that hot right now either.

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  12. Hi Tina, thank you for your kind words. :)

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  13. Randy it's Lamium purpureum. I wondered how a plant ended up with a name like Dead-Nettle, and found this on wikipedia: "they {Lamiums] appear superficially similar to those of the Stinging nettle Urtica dioica but do not sting, hence the common name "dead nettle"."

    I ran into some Stinging Nettle in PA once and I do not want to do that again. It was growing right by a stream so I waded in, which helped with the stinging. We have False Nettle here too.

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  14. The speedwell is great! Love the blue color. Those carpenter bees can be so destructive. I have holes in my wooden gate from these guys.

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  15. Janet I love the speedwell too. The color is so vivid and it has such a long bloom time.

    Thank you Dawn!

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  16. Your photos have such great details of the bees enjoying the flowers. The electric blue of the speedwell really shows off the bees.

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