This weekend was another beautiful time in the mountains, and maybe the last chance to catch the final round of colorful changes amidst the pine trees! We like to drive up to Frisco, CO to hike a relatively kid-friendly trail with an area to skip rocks across a small riverbed. My girls love this hike (believe it or not, with my littlest looking that way in the photo), and the colors are very visible too! It was chilly when we started, probably upper forties, so certainly too cold for bees to be out and about, right?
Wrong! My oldest daughter spotted this pretty lady warming herself on a rock in the sun! She’s a mining bee, which means she nests underground. She is a solitary bee, so she will likely die very soon, and her progeny will hibernate in the underground nests until next spring. So, we considered ourselves extremely lucky, and I did my best to get some pictures of her. She was a little camera shy, being in the mountains, she doesn’t see the bee paparazzi! She never exhibited any aggression toward us; she simply flew away when we were too close for comfort. Remember solitary bees are very docile, so there’s no reason to fear their presence, enjoy it!
We didn’t find her nesting site, but there was a plethora of muddy choices all around, and we did find what looked to be the entrance of a mining bee nest further up the trail! We were impressed with her ability to survive the drop into the thirties the evening before; the ground must be a good insulator to those extreme temperature swings.
I’ve been feeling a little bummed that fall and winter are upon us, and I won’t be seeing my buzzing muses until next spring. This is the first year I wasn’t ready for summer to end! This mining bee made my day (I think I’ve been stung with enthusiasm for these little creatures!).
If you’d like to learn more about the mining bees, and see a picture of another type of mining bee I found this summer, click here.
As always, thank you for joining this very important movement to help save our bees, both honey and native! Don’t forget to refer your friends and family to this blog, so they can learn along with you, and together we can all make big changes!