In Tearing Haste ( Yet Again)

Dear Readers, here I am, still in Toronto but today I have spent about six hours writing up my Open University science experiment – regular readers might remember that I decided to look at the hairy-footed flowerbees that visit the garden, and to see whether the number of males to females was temperature-dependent – the females are all jet-black, which should mean that they heat up more quickly than the males, who are little stripey geezers.

So, today has mostly been crunching numbers and looking at scientific papers, and I just looked up and realised that in exactly 59 minutes we are leaving for a posh meal with a lovely friend of ours, and here I am in my low self-esteem trackpants and a jumper that has seen better days. 59 minutes is not long to transform myself into a goddess, so today I shall just give you a brief recap, and tomorrow I shall return to things Toronto-related.

Suffice it to say that there were more females than males at all temperature ranges, but interestingly (to me at least) there was only a statistically-significant difference at the higher temperature range. I think this is because the week that I chose to observe my bees also featured high-winds and torrential downpours, so when it was cold, wet and windy all but the bravest bees stayed at home and did their crosswords/knitting/watched Netflix/whatever bees do when they’re confined to quarters. When the temperature was a bit higher, the females came out much more than the males, even when it was breezy: I think this is because a) they’re larger (as it turns out) and so can survive more boisterous conditions, and b) because every day they have to collect enough pollen to feed one of their larvae: hairy-footed flower bees are solitary bees, so each female is solely responsible for feeding their offspring. That is a pretty strong incentive to go out there and get provisioning, while for the males (especially if they’ve already mated) there’s no real advantage to risking the inclement conditions.

But who knows? I think my bottom line will be ‘more research is required’, as it should be in all good scientific inquiry.

And now I’m off to have a shower and make myself presentable. See you all tomorrow!

1 thought on “In Tearing Haste ( Yet Again)

  1. Ann Bronkhorst

    Smallish, dark-all-over bumble bees are still busy on my Sophora’s gaudy yellow flowers at 6 pm. Could they be female hairy-footed flower bees? Can’t get close enough to see details.

    Reply

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