Monday, October 12, 2009
When Bumble Bees Fall Asleep
Do you think they dream
of fields of wildflowers and gardens filled with all their favorite flower foods
or of warm sunny days and autumn asters?
Did you know that sleeping bees have similar characteristics to sleeping humans? They don't move around, they don't react to stimuli very readily, their muscles relax, and their body temperature drops. (Reference: Southwick, E. E. "Bee sleep". American Bee Journal 131:165-166, 1991)
They are Sleeping Beauties in my garden.
On warm days they are up before I am out in the gardens. The cooler autumn mornings finds them sleeping in; wrapped securely on a flower.
You can wake them up with a kiss~~~ if you're brave! But, a gentle pat or stroke on their fuzzy backs might be easier.
Be very gentle. They are more fragile then we think....They fool us with their noisy bluster and buzzing to frighten us away. Rarely do they sting. They are too busy to bother.
Don't worry. They can take the gentle and loving touch of the gardener's hand.
So pet them. Appreciate them. Delight in them. It bears repeating~~provide for them.*~~and they'll continue to provide for us.
If you want to learn more about Bumbles..I've written a post about what we gardeners can do to help them...Go here to read Taking Care of Bzzzness.
“Morning is the best of all times in the garden. The sun is not yet hot. Sweet vapors rise from the earth. Night dew clings to the soil and makes plants glisten. Birds call to one another. Bees are already at work.” William Longgood
*"...a few of the known 49 native bumblebee species in the United States are becoming endangered. According to the National Research Council (as cited in a Xerces Society report), populations of wild bees are in a "long-term downward trend." Some bee experts like Robbin Thorp speculate that our native populations acquired some kind of pathogen from commercially reared bumblebees.**Neil Cunningham