Bees in the backyard
August is always the month when plants look very tired and much of the garden is dried out.
It is even harder to keep plants surviving with the ongoing drought. Nasturtiums, which seem to cover every empty space in the garden, and flourish in the spring through late summer, are a great nectar source for bees. But now most of the nasturtium vines are dried out.
Even though we aren't seeing as many bees right now, because there isn't as much food available for them in the garden, they are still visiting, feeding on whatever is available.
The hover fly, above, was intent on getting into the partially opened zinnia bud.
Fortunately our lavender shrubs growing in container pots in the backyard are producing flowers, which are keeping the bees happy. And very soon the salvia plants will have new spires full of little blossoms.
Today I observed bees feeding on the nectar of the bright yellow flower heads of the Brown fennel plant. The honey bee in the image above spent a long time visiting all of the flower heads of the plant. We mainly planted this fennel in hopes of attracting swallowtail butterflies, hoping they would lay their eggs there.
Sometimes swallowtails flit through the backyard, but so far no sign of swallowtail caterpillars
on the fennel.