Saddled with pollen, the bee falls off the flower, landing on a leaf below before returning to the bloom. “I’ve never seen them just fall like that,” another Reddit user commented.
The video highlights the importance of native plants to critical pollinators like bees.
The 30-second video gives an intimate look into an essential process many of us take for granted: pollination. Every seed plant, including the fruits, vegetables, and grains we eat, must be pollinated to reproduce. Our plates would be pretty empty without bees, birds, bats, and other pollinators doing their very important work.
This particular bee caught people’s attention with its tenacity while gathering a significant haul of pollen from a native sunflower.
Native plants provide vital nourishment to bees and other pollinators, many of which feed on specific varieties. Non-native plants might not offer enough nutrients or are inedible to some species, according to the USDA. This is why incorporating native plants into your yard, known as rewilding, can help rebuild declining pollinator populations.
The unusual behavior described by the Redditor in the video caption may refer to the bee’s sudden fall and its unsteady flight. Fascinated by the heavy loads of nectar and pollen bees can carry, scientists designed research to better understand these important creatures.
“Bumblebees are basically aerial tankers,” one researcher told NPR. “They can store enough nectar to roughly double their body weight; and they can carry nearly half their own weight in pollen.”
However, researchers found, all that weight affects how bees fly. While the bees were more stable than when carrying nectar on their abdomens, the bees lost maneuverability when their legs were heavy from pollen.
As one commenter hinted, bees may also exhibit strange behavior when tired or thirsty. Tired bees are often slow-moving and found on the ground or pavement. You can help revive the pollinator by offering a fresh flower or some drops of sugar water. Another way to help is to provide a water source for bees by setting up a water station where they can safely rest.
With native plants and a safe water source, you’ll soon be catching glimpses of adorable pollinators like the one in the video. Until then, follow one Redditor’s advice and check out r/pollenpants for more beautiful bees.
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