Carpenter bee on Turtlehead bloom

28 09 2011

The Turtlehead (Chelone obliqua) is a hardy herbaceous perennial wildflower in the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae). The flowers are cross-pollinated primarily by bees and I can attest to that because this bank of blooms was swarming with very busy bees. The plant is aptly named because the flowers resemble the head of a turtle. In fact, the botanical name Chelone (rhymes with baloney, Dad) means “tortoise” in Greek. Photographed in the children’s garden at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.



2 responses

29 09 2011

The insect is undoubtedly a bee, a big black bee, but it probably isn’t a bumblebee. Bumblebees have a short stocky body and no waist. Your bee has a long body, a fat fanny and a waspish waist (hee, hee, hee!).

A great shot—I couldn’t have done much better myself. It’s begging to be matted and framed—bring me a 5×7 photo and it will be done.

25 10 2011
David Austin

Nice article on our old Bumble friends. Bumblebees are beautiful, hard working and incredibly important pollinators.


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