A Conversation for Colours of Wildlife: Carmine Bee-Eater

Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 1

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

Pretty bird.

When they're go north for the winter, do they eat the African Killer bees? smiley - bigeyes


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 2

Willem

Hello Paulh! Over here, we just call them 'bees'!


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 3

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

As well you might. smiley - smiley

Just as people look puzzled when you ask for French Roast coffee in Paris.

But in my country (and probably lots of others as well), the first thing many people seem to do in the morning is look for something to worry about. My countrymen have lots of help in this, as novelists and news sources and White Horse Souses grind out tons of worrisome material -- which we go for in record numbers.

The "killer bees" have been in the Americas long enough that p[eople have stopped worrying about them:
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-55396-2_17

Maybe these worriers have found better things to worry about, like acidifying oceans, rising oceans, salmonella in peanut butter, forever chemicals in groundwater, and new fears that haven't been developed yet. smiley - erm

My sympathies would be with the bees themselves, as experts keep harping on the declining bee populations almost everywhere.

But since these bee-eaters seem to have robust populations, then their prey probably hasn't gone extinct yet. smiley - smiley

That's one less thing for me to worry about, but I'm working on six new worries for tomorrow. smiley - biggrin

(NOT!)


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 4

Willem

Hello again! Yeah I know about the 'killer bee' panic over there … it seems to have died down lately not so?

Well here, bee populations seem to be doing all right … I get many of them in my garden, I'll go check tomorrow if I can find some. The bee-eaters actually don't do much harm to their numbers … bee eaters are not all over the place, they're rather sparsely distributed. For instance there are none as far as I know that come into town, where lots of bees visit the gardens.


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 5

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

Hummingbirds have a reputation for snacking on insects when they come to get nectar from flowers. It's a strange but beautiful world. smiley - smiley


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 6

Willem

Over here, we don't have hummingbirds. Their equivalents are the sunbirds. Sunbirds, compared to hummingbirds, are generally larger and not as good at flying. They can't hover, only flutter for a while in one place for a second or two. They therefore mainly land on or beside a flower to drink from it. They, too, eat some invertebrates, but only very small ones, because of their slender bills. They tend to pick on spiders! And they also gather spiderwebs to make their nests from. So, it's more of predation during nest-material gathering than during nectar drinking.


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 7

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I've never seen any hummingbirds here. It's even hard to attract Monarch butterflies, though I see one or two in the summer.


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 8

Willem

What a coincidence! I've never seen hummingbirds here either!

But … I do get lots and lots of butterflies in my garden. Over here we get a species close to the monarch butterflies you get there, the African Monarch. Its larval food plants are members of the Asclepiadaceae or milkweed family. I happen to grow many of those but so far I haven't seen many caterpillars on them ...


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 9

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

I'm very, very happy to know that Southern Africa has monarch-like butterflies, and plants related to Milkweed. smiley - smiley


Bee ware if you are a bee

Post 10

Willem

Look here for some nice pictures of our monarchs:

https://southlandssun.co.za/26544/gods-little-creatures-african-monarch/

And we have LOTS of milkweeds and related plants! The family, the Asclepiadaceae, is one of the largest in South Africa and includes some truly bizarre forms. I grow many of them. I have to keep those caterpillars off them sometimes!


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