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Old 06-23-2005, 11:59 PM   #1
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Bee Behavior

I have a Stachys byzantina lamb's ear plant. During the past few years, I've seen honey bees and bumblebees on the fuzzy leaves, collecting the "fuzz". The bees use their mouthparts to collect the "fuzz" in a ball under their "chin", and then they fly away. The bees collect such a small amount that the leaves aren't damaged. For the first time this year, I saw a bee doing this today. I have always wondered what it was doing, and maybe someone here knows!
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:19 AM   #2
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I don't know for sure but I have a hypothesis.

Perhaps the bee is using the fuzz to increase the surface space where pollen can attach to the bee. This way they are carrying more pollen than they would without the fuzz. It is just a guess, but it was the first thing that came to mind. Pretty interesting beehavior though
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:38 AM   #3
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Leafcutter bees (which resemble honeybees) use their mouthparts to cut out semicircular pieces of leaves, which they use to line their nests. Perhaps the lambs ear's thick fuzz prevents the bees from actually cutting through the leaf - forcing them to settle for a mouthful of fuzz.

These bees are native to the Western US and Canada, but beekeepers have cultivated them elsewhere for their pollinating services - especially in alfalfa fields. They are solitary bees that nest in soft, rotting wood. The damage caused by their leafcutting activities is far outweighed by their pollinating services.

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05576.html
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Old 06-24-2005, 01:51 AM   #4
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pooh... I like my theory still... even if it is wrong
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Old 06-24-2005, 01:57 AM   #5
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QTOFFER, once again you are a wealth of information!!
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Old 06-24-2005, 08:33 AM   #6
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I think they're both wrong. See, the bees collect the fuzz to celebrate Beemas (a holiday very similar to Christmas). They wad a big ball of fuzz under their chin so they can look like they have a beard, like the fictitional Santa Bee, bringing honey to all the good little larvae and pupae in the hive.

I'm telling you, that's what it is. I know.
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Old 06-24-2005, 08:38 AM   #7
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Good theory deli_conker!!! Hillarious!
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Old 06-24-2005, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
See, the bees collect the fuzz to celebrate Beemas (a holiday very similar to Christmas).
lmao - Merry Beemas to you, Merry Beemas to you...
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deli_conker
I think they're both wrong. See, the bees collect the fuzz to celebrate Beemas (a holiday very similar to Christmas). They wad a big ball of fuzz under their chin so they can look like they have a beard, like the fictitional Santa Bee, bringing honey to all the good little larvae and pupae in the hive.

I'm telling you, that's what it is. I know.


Or, they could be collecting the fuzz to make a nice sweater for the queen!
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Old 06-24-2005, 12:19 PM   #10
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Actually, they logged onto this site and saw the Japanese Giant Hornet video I posted. Now they are collecting the fuzz to change the appearance of their hive, kinda like Clint Eastwood did in "High Plains Drifter" (although he changed a town, not a hive). Anyways, when the hornets show up, they'll be too scared to do anything. I know I would be...
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