Busy as a Bee

Posted by & filed under Perennials.

by Dandy Lion

Passion FlowerSometimes we get so busy in life we forget to take the time to appreciate what is around us.  A short walk through the Garden can always change that.  During a stroll through the tropical garden, you might casually notice a beautiful passion flower.  But take a little extra time and really observe the flower and what is happening.  If you are lucky, you get to see a wonderful dance between a passing bee and the flower.  A dance they have practiced for millennia.

The bee arrives looking for a sweet sip of nectar.  It must crawl across an interesting flower.  The flower petals and sepals spread out open like a dinner plate filled with purple spaghetti (the numerous filaments).  Forming a small umbrella are arrayed five stamens and three pistils.  At the end of each stamen hangs an anther, covered in pollen.  The bee blindly crawls under this skid-plate shaped anther and collects the pollen on its back.  As the bee lunges around looking for sweet juices, it will eventually rub up under one of three stigmas – the receptor for all that pollen.  Each stigma is at the end of an arching style attached to the creamy urn-shaped ovary, where new seeds are formed.  The busy bee has helped this passion flower start a new generation.

Bee crawling under the anther and collecting pollen.Bee crawling under the anther and collecting pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee leaving pollen on the stigma.  Note the pollen covered anther facing up in the foreground.Bee leaving pollen on the stigma. Note the pollen covered anther facing up in the foreground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bee under the stigma - leaving pollen behindBee under the stigma – leaving pollen behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bee on the left is getting pollen while crawling under the anther.  On the right, the second bee leaves pollen on a stigma.The bee on the left is getting pollen while crawling under the anther. On the right, the second bee leaves pollen on a stigma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have enjoyed that brief moment of nature – GET BACK TO WORK.

One Response to “Busy as a Bee”

  1. Dixie

    Dandy these are wonderful . AND you know how much I love purple flowers. Love big fat bumble bees too…so that makes these even more spectacular :)
    Thank you as always for sharing wonderful things in the Garden with me…well everyone else too. Amazing pics

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