Pollenhound (Bee)

pollen-covered bee in white rhododendron flower

A prodigious bee collects and feeds on pollen inside a white rhododendron flower

I’ve heard of hellhounds, but since these flowers are little enclaves of heaven, this must be a heavenhound. (All dogs do go to heaven, even if they’re insects.) I always want to call these sweat bees (family Halictidae), but I’m not really sure; it might be a mason bee of some kind. The bee may be quite the pollen hunter, but my ID nose isn’t sniffing today.

The composition on this one is a little off, but to get focus I took a funny angle which didn’t leave me with a lot of palatable options. There’s something jarring about it (for me, anyway), but it’ll do bee. It’ll do.

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3 thoughts on “Pollenhound (Bee)

  1. When I see a bee with pollen on its legs, the pollen looks like orange water balloons and maybe some pollen grains around the head and other “hairy” parts of the body. Is the conglomeration of grains on this bee (vs. the typical orange bag) unique to the bee or the type flower?

    1. Hi David, I think the color usually depends on the flower the pollen is coming from. The way it amasses is probably most influenced by the structure of the bee’s legs and hairs; I’m guess these bees have somewhat different legs than your typical honeybee. The rhododendron flowers have white or whitish pollen so this is what you end up with usually when the bee has really gone to town.

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