Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Flower and the Bee

The relationship between a flower and a pollinator is intricate.
It is a beautiful dance between attractor and attracted...
Based upon things seen and unseen.
The flower's fragrance, its color and even its shape are the attractors; pollen and nectar are the rewards for the bee and pollination is the reward for the flower.
Flowers bloom and the pollinators visit. It's a simple dance played out again and again in a garden, but, it never fails to amaze and delight me.
Amazed and delighted was exactly how I felt when I spotted this Bumble nectaring on the barely opened  Coreopsis 'Redshift'. Little bees love this flower, but, it's never been visited by the larger bees. 
What was different? Did the bee catch a bit of sweetness in the air? Was the shape reminiscent of those complicated crawl up into them to get the nectar 'bee flowers' that Bumbles adore? Was the yellow just right?
Who knows! It's part of the dance, it's part of the magic, but, I hope the Bumbles continue to find this flower rewarding.


A few of my favorite posts on pollinators

If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)
Go Bare In Your Garden (here)
Got Wildflowers?(here)
The Wildflower and The Bee (here)
A Few Good Reasons To Plant Milkweek (here)
Got Shade? You Can Have Pollinators ( (here)
Where Have All My Pollinators Gone (here)

You didn't really think I would let this opportunity go by without admonishing you to never, ever, ever use pesticides!
You knew I couldn't.

Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.


  1. Such a delicate dance. I felt like I could reach out and pet this fellow in a couple of these photos.

  2. You've outdone yourself with these photos, Gail! Apparently there is something very, very attractive inside this coreopsis. I don't think I've ever really stared at a bee's rump before:)

  3. Every time I see a bumblebee in my garden, I think of you! Wonderful pictures!

  4. I agree. I never tire of watching it either.

  5. Amazing pictures of one of my favorite creatures! Thanks so much.

  6. Lovely, simply lovely, Gail. The bumble is a determined fellow. It must be the yellow...

  7. That is a cute series of images.

  8. This is beautiful. You inspire me to plant more Coreopsis so life activities such as this is more of a standard in my world.

  9. This was delightful! Gail, you remind me of... me!
    But much better of course.
    And BTW, that IS the perfect yellow.

  10. I adore watching the bees. As I wander and take photos, I pay particular attention to who is visiting. I love to see happy pollinators.

  11. I've always loved watching bees in the garden, Gail, and thanks to you I watch them even more closely these days. Such wonderful, intimate photos.

  12. Wow, that bee is happy! What a wonderful series of shots. Seems like he wants to crawl in there and disappear in the flower!

  13. Delightful indeed Gail! Great captures and words embracing the pollination tango.

  14. wonderful, wonderful photography , An afternoon of bee watching is such great therapy.
    BeaD of Tx


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson