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Busy in the Poppies

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The15thMember:
My mom planted a patch of poppies in her garden this year, and overnight we had a ton of them open.  The bees were going bonkers on them this morning.  I counted 4 species of bees and 5 species of hover flies.  You could hear the bumbles buzz pollinating too!  They sounded almost like piping queens.
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The15thMember:
The most interesting hover fly was this one though.  When it flew in I thought, "Why does that bumble bee sound so weird?"  But it wasn't a bumble bee, it was a king of Batesian mimicry!  Look at how closely this fly resembles our Eastern bumble bees and carpenter bees!  It even has a little spot on its back and hair on its legs that look like pollen baskets.  But bees don't sit around on flowers and wash their hands!  :wink:  I'm pretty sure the species is Mallota posticata.
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When I was researching them, I found out that they lay their eggs in standing water in holes in trees, and their larvae have little tubes that they stick above the water to breathe like a scuba diver! 

The15thMember:
Also, this wasn't on the poppies, but since I had the camera out I took a picture of one of my straw cans that I have up for native bees to nest in.  The masons don't seem to like this can, but there is a little potter wasp who has taken up residence.  You can just see her face back in the straw I have circled.  She sits with her head out a lot of the time, but every time I held the camera up she would scoot back. 
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