First Pollen(!!!) and a Mystery


Seen today on a Buzzer.

So, here’s the mystery: Why are these bees so interested in the stump from the (long) dead tree The Engineer cut down earlier this week? The girls were also rooting around in the sawdust below the stump.

There are many theories online about bees being attracted by fresh sawdust.

They think it’s pollen. I find it difficult to believe animals that depend on pollen as a primary source of food would confuse the two substances.

They are finding sap/resin to use for propolis. This might be true if the tree hadn’t been dead for so long. But we could literally see daylight through the woodpeckers’ holes.

Lastly, and most most intriguingly was this theory: The bees were finding fungi spores which have a high protein content similar to pollen. Since the dead trees in our yard often sport a variety of mushrooms and fungi, this one seems possible. Click through for a blog post about the idea.

Still, I really have no idea, so if you have other information on why bees might forage in sawdust, I’d love for you to share in a comment.

In other backyard developments, a raccoon apparently visited our suet feeder last night.

I glanced out of the window this morning as I drank my tea and saw a woodpecker calmly snacking on the suet in the feeder, which had been relocated to the roof. The intrepid nighttime thief hadn’t even knocked off the hook where the feeder normally hangs (yellow arrow).

We also went flying today. Sky was kind of bleah – not great for photos, but It brightened up briefly, and I shot this view of one of the islands.

And that’s all the news from The Byrd and the Bees. (And I use the term “news” in the loosest possible sense.)

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