Friday, October 4, 2013

Pollination of a Weed

Spanish broom, Spartium junceum, grows along the road in places at Lal Lal, despite previous weed control measures. Today I saw how bees help it along:
Bee pollinating Spartium junceum
As the bee pushes into a flower to get to the nectar, the stamens and stigma spring up and curl over the bee. The stamens shower the bee with pollen. You can see how orange the hairy parts of the bee look because of their coating of pollen., and if you enlarge the photo you can see pollen flying into the air on the left.  Meanwhile the stigma touches the bee's back, to pick up pollen already there from another flower. This bee also has a good collection of pollen in her pollen baskets (the orange lump on her hind leg), to take back to the hive to feed baby bees.

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