If bees make you run and scream that’s because you haven’t seen these amazing photos of bees sleeping in pretty flowers.
Bees can be VERY cute! Just picture a sleepy bee dusted in pollen, curled up fast asleep in the petal of a flower.
Thanks to Phoenix, Arizona-based photographer Joe Neely, we all have a chance to see what it looks like when a bee decides to take a nap in the petals of soft flower. It’s literally the most adorable thing you’ll see all day.
The buzz-worthy encounter began when Neely decided to go for a walk with his fiancée Nicole. While enjoying the fresh air and company, his goal was to capture some photos of poppy flowers.
As they strolled along, the pair made a pit stop near a highway to photograph some pretty pink flowers. That’s when they spotted an orange globe mallow plant hidden amongst the bunch.
There were bees buzzing all around the pollen-filled plants, but Nicole noticed some of the bees weren’t moving – they seemed frozen in time at the base of the flower petals.
Not a bee expert himself, Neely didn’t know what he was seeing at first so he edged his way in for a closer to look to make sure the bees were still alive.
All of the flowers were filled with dormant bees. That’s when he saw an active bee crawl to an open flower where one other bee was already catching some ZZZ’s.
The bee moved like a “drunk person” before settling in beside the other bee and going still.
Turns out, there’s a particular species of bee – the Diadasia Diminuta – that sleeps tucked inside orange globe mallow flowers. This is not a habit of most bees, only a select few species slumber in flowers after finishing a job.
The Diafasia Diminuta, also known as the globe mallow bee, is a type of chimney bee in the Apidae family. It is found in Central America and North America.
According to Brandon Hopkins from Washington State University, this type of bee does not possess eyelids, so while they don’t close their eyes, they do lie down, go still and stop moving their antenna.
“Well I never knew that bees slept in flowers but as it turns out these bees (Diadasia diminuta) sleep in the orange flowers called Globe Mallows,” Neely told Bored Panda.
Globe mallows are their favorite food and these bees play an important role in keeping it alive.
“The bees become covered with pollen visiting the flowers [and] most of this pollen is groomed into the pollen basket on the hind legs and taken back to the nest,” explains the Forest Service at the United States Department of Agriculture.
“However, some remains on the body and is deposited on the stigma of each of the next few globe mallow flowers visited. Thus, Diadasia contributes to globe mallow reproduction.”
These sleeping beauties aren’t the only incredible creatures in the bee world. Bees are an important component to our planet – in fact, around one-third of the food that you eat every day only exists because of bee pollination.
Instead of worrying about getting stung by bees, we need to be more worried about protecting them.
Bee populations have been in decline for quite some time now. According to sos-bees.org, the main reason behind the decline is destructive industrial agriculture.
Insecticides are the largest problem of all – they are used to kill insects and are used in large quantities around cropland areas.
Other reasons cited by GreenPeace include:
“Growing pest and weed resistance, decreasing soil fertility, widespread water contamination, increasing CO2 emissions and vulnerability to climate change, as well as a systemic loss of resilience, diversity and sovereignty in the global food production press us to make the transformational change towards biodiversity based ecological farming systems.”
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Busy bees sleep more than you might think, clocking in at around five to eight hours of shut eye each day.
Bees are a lot like us, and not just because they enjoy a good snooze. For starters, they are social creatures with their own distinct jobs within a colony. In addition, they sleep at night when darkness puts a damper on their ability to forage for pollen and nectar.
It wasn’t until 1983 that researcher Walter Kaiser made the discovery that bees sleep. This was the first record of an invertebrate sleeping– and it was far from the last. Turns out, all insects and animals sleep.
Since then, scientists have researched bee sleep patterns and found some interesting facts. Just like us, bees don’t function well without a good night’s sleep.
They can’t communicate properly, and they become rather sloppy in everything they do. In addition, they are easily lost and struggle making it back to their hive after foraging for fresh flowers.
“If you work with them, you realise very quickly that they are very smart,” said Hanna Zwaka, an author who participated in a 2015 study on honeybee sleep patterns and memory.
Zwaka added: “They are also very sweet to watch while they are learning.”
Need another reason to love bees? Instead of talking or writing, bees use dance to communicate with one another.
Forager bees wiggle and wag their bodies for certain periods of time and at different angles to indicate different things, mainly where the closest nectar or pollen is stashed.
So, the next time you go to swat at a bee… let it live; we need the bees!