After the landslides of 2015 bumblebees were practically nonexistent in the Wind River Canyon; few were to be observed anywhere. All the mud and water washed the bumbles out of existence it seemed. Their absence was obvious....and last summer was only slightly better for the large, friendly bees.
This summer is a completely different story all together. We have a hive near our cabin in the canyon, and baby bumblebees are literally everywhere! They may scare the hell out of people, but in my experience bumbles are easy to approach. Lately, I've been teaching people how to "pet-a-bumblebee." All it takes is a steady hand and a lot of bravery; I've never been stung or even threatened by one. They have a lot of work to do and, stroking their "bee-fur" is outrageously good fun. It's also a great introduction to the weird world of entomology; you know, the study of bugs.
Over 250 species of Bumblebees are known, but due to loss of habitat and pesticides their numbers in the wild are declining. They are such good pollinators, but not good honey producers, that over a million bumblebee nests are produced each year in at least 30 factories around the globe! You may have heard that bumblebees cannot fly. Bumblebees can fly, because their wings encounter dynamic stall in every oscillation cycle.
In the Wind River Canyon, the bumblebee's favorite summer wildflowers are known as Horse Mint, scientifically as the Nettleleaf Giant Hyssop (Agastache urticifolia). A member of the huge mint family of plants, the horse mint is very prolific in the canyon, and will bloom into November, even with snow on the tiny flowers!
The nature video below was shot, edited and produced early this very morning, before our Sun rose over the rim of the canyon. And yes, I did "pet" a few bumblebees today. This nature video and, the Wind River Canyon Blog, was written, directed, edited and produced by Michael John Balog, and all rights are reserved by the author. Please respect the work of others.
For many more videos and photographs of the wild animals and birds of the Wind River Canyon, including many hummingbird photos, visit www.HogbatsPhotography.com.
Once again....thank you for reading about the wilds of Wyoming.