Pride of Madeira (and bees!)

I love those pink/purple stamens sticking out.

On a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney a couple of weeks ago, I came across a very large planting of Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans)*. The large flower spikes are at about eye level — and the bees absolutely loved them. I was very glad these were non-aggressive bees!

It’s interesting how the flowers appear in spirals.

Let me at that pollen!

The photo below is a crop of the one above, to zero in on the bee. That “pollen basket” (thanks to Jude for introducing me to that term) is so blue that it looks like an enamelled jewel adorning the bee’s leg.

This bee is kind of cute with its hairy front.

*Don’t be too impressed by my plant knowledge — being a botanic garden, everything has a label. 🙂

Random Fridays: Bee and flower

Bee caught in mid air while feeding from this flower.

Bee caught in mid air while feeding from this flower.

This flowering hedge was very popular with bees when I walked by. The flower is the New Zealand Christmas Bush (Metrosideros thomasii). Don’t be fooled by the name; I took the photo on the shores of Botany Bay, Australia.

The BBC has an interesting story about trackers being attached to honey bees in an attempt to learn more about the factors that are causing worrying declines in honey bee numbers globally. Click here to read the article.