We were recently visited by a Sonoran Bumblebee (Bombus sonorus), a fuzzy insect native to the Sonoran desert and much of the western United States. Typical ground dwellers, the female workers forage for pollen and nectar to take back to the nest for storage as food for the young.
Like many North American bees, the population of the Sonoran Bumblebee has decreased dramatically in the past two decades.
This week’s bee was spotted on our Hedge Nettle (Stachys bullata). According to the USDA Forest Service, “this bumblebee visits a very broad range of flowering plants including sunflowers, thistles, clover, Black-eyed Susans, and many others.”
Planting California natives, along with the pollinator-attracting flowers listed above, is one way to bring these colorful visitors to your garden and help re-establish bee populations.