This photo is of a bumble bee flying to my Oriole feeder (sugar water feeder). It's the first time I've ever seen bumble bees sip nectar from a feeder. In the past the visitors would always be ants, yellow jacket wasps, hummingbirds, finches and Orioles that drop by to sip from these feeders. The fact that bumble bees came to this source of nectar is a sign of how bad our summer has been.
There must be a dearth of nectar in my neighbourhood. That's not surprising considering how cold and rainy it has been this summer. I've read that many flowers will bloom but unless the temperature reaches a certain high, they won't put out nectar.
Last week our family vacationed in Tobermory, Ontario. It's about a 2 hour drive north of Toronto (4 hours from my home south of Toronto). We go every year because we love it so much. It's the scuba diving capital of Canada - crystal clear waters and about 30 shipwrecks to dive on as well as giant interesting geological rocks.
We also love hiking the trails of the Bruce Peninsula. Our favourite trail leads up to the top of cliffs that open out into a huge rocky grotto. These are smooth flat rocks that are great to sunbathe or picnic on.
So I had a week away from my bees. It was hard to be away from them. The last I had been in the hive was during my friend Henry's inspection and we found queen cells.
But I found I still had bees in my bonnet. I just couldn't stop thinking about them. I looked for them everywhere I went in Tobermory. I didn't have to look very hard. Milkweeds and Queen Anne's Lace were in bloom on the edges of the camp site and the bees were happily swarming all over them. I could smell the sweet intoxicating scent of the milkweed from several feet away.