Rocky Mountain Bee Plant: Cleome serrulata

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Rocky Mountain Bee Plant: Cleome serrulata was a wonderful late blooming wildflower near us this year. It drew numerous species of bees, and butterflies, from near and far and always had visitors when in bloom providing pollinators with a generous sip of nectar.

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Growing up to 4 ft tall Bee Plant stands out in the fields of tall fall grasses.A beautiful and very sculptural wildflower Bee Plant is fun to photograph as well.

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According to the USDA “Cleome serrulata is an important cultural plant for many Southwestern Indian tribes. The young, tender shoots and leaves are good sources of vitamin A and calcium. In the past they were used as potherbs or medicinally as teas for fevers and other ailments. The seeds were ground and used to make gruel or bread. The Navajo still use the plant as a source of yellow-green dye for their beautiful wool rugs and blankets. Many pueblo tribes use a concentrated form of dye, made from boiling the plant into a thick black resin, to paint designs on pottery or for decorating their baskets.”

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On this particular afternoon the little green sweat bees were enjoying the plant to no end.

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Every flower seems to have a visitor.

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And one last look as even the bee fly mimics got in on the action.

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More Purple

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Purple wildflowers in may shades filled the meadows all summer long. From the Bergamot or Bee Balm: Monarda fistulosa L. to the purple flowers in grass filled meadows.

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The Lupine in the alpine meadows offer a bit of pollen to the bees.

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And the Rocky Mountain Columbine. More_purple_4

All purple of a different shade and a wonderful way to remember a summer filled with flowers.

So just a bit more purple before all thought of summer fades.

Happy weekend to all.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration

We noticed this Bumble Bee loaded full with pollen climbing a small gravel bank.
Was his load to heavy for him to fly?

Further up the bank he clambered clearly on mission.

Ahhh, mission revealed, a small sip of water from along this gravel bank was what he climbed up for.

Clearly this bee knows hydration is key for a hard days work in the sun.

A few quick sips and off he flew to deliver his goods to the hive.

Bombus Ternarius: Tri-Colored Bee

It’s always nice to have these bess buzzing about and who doesn’t like saying Bombus Ternarius.

From Wikipedia “Bombus ternarius, commonly known as the orange-belted bumblebee or tricoloured bumblebee,[2] is a yellow, orange and black bumblebee. It is a ground-nesting social insect whose colony cycle lasts only one season, common throughout the northeastern United States and parts of Canada.[3] The orange-belted bumblebee forages on Rubus, goldenrods, Vaccinium, and milkweeds found throughout the colony’s range. Like many other members of the genus, Bombus ternarius exhibits complex social structure with a reproductive queen caste and a multitude of sister workers with labor such as foraging, nursing, and nest maintenance divided among the subordinates.”

To read more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombus_ternarius

Just for fun ….Bombus!