Sharing the Bounty with the Bees

Jun 22, 2016

Move over, monarchs.

Bees--and other pollinators--gravitate toward the enticing aroma of the milkweed, too.

The milkweed is widely known as the larval host plant of the monarch butterflies--and a nectar source for the adults--but they have to share.


The broadleaf milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, in our pollinator garden draws everything from honey bees to leafcutter bees to carpenter bees.

It's almost like "Take a number." And it's especially noticeable during National Pollinator Week, a week set aside to celebrate the pollinators and to do what we can to protect them.

Recent visitors to the milkweed have included:

  • A male Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, a green-eyed blond
  • A female Valley carpenter bee, Xylocopa varipuncta, solid black
  • Honey bee, Apis mellifera
  • Male leafcutter bee, Megachile sp.

And, of course, the monarchs (Danaus plexippus)!