Yesterday I was noticing that there are a bunch of very happy bumble bees hanging around the vitex (chaste tree) in the back yard (and also the abelias). I took some photos, though, many didn't quite turn out because I wasn't paying attention to the temperature change and high humidity outside and the lens fogged up on me! Luckily, it didn't take long to reacclimatize the camera to the outside weather.
Unfortunately, you can also see in one of the photos where the Japanese beetles are beginning to decimate the leaves of the vitex…they also seem to be loving the flowers as food. I don't know what to do about them – from what I read, the traps may simply attract more of the beetles defeating the goal of getting rid of them and there don't seem to be any insecticides that will kill them (wouldn't PETA love me for that one?). I need to do some more research, but if anyone knows anything about Japanese beetle control, I am all ears!
This morning I noticed that the bees were sleeping on the flowers! So, I also researched that and learned that new queens and males leave the nest (usually they are forced out) and spend the night either on the flowers or in holes in the ground. In the fall they mate and then they winter over and in the spring, the queens will form new nests.
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