High-Wire Act

Sep 15, 2008

It’s like going to the circus.

A bee circus.

When you see honey bees gather pollen from a gaura (Gaura linheimeri), it’s as if  they ran off and joined the circus. You'll see hire-wire (er...high-stem) acts, somersaults, pirouettes, cartwheels and cliffhangers.

They teeter on the edge of a petal and then petal-push to the other side. They buzz upside down and then right themselves.  They're under the Big Top and then varoom, they've over it.

The gaura, a leggy perennial, is a native of North America and a member of the Onagraceae family. Its butterflylike flowers, pink and white, are drop-dead gorgeous.

The gaura is also known as "the wand flower," "the butterfly bush" and "the bee blossom."

In our bee friendly garden, it will forever be "the circus flower."


By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

A pollen-packin' honey bee heads toward a gaura (Gaura linheimeri). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Heading in

The honey bee gives her stamp of approval to the gaura, a perennial also known as

Ah, a gaura!

The honey bee seems to relish being under The Big Top. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Under the Big Top

The honey bee performs a balancing act on the gaura. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Balancing act

The honey bee gathers pollen from a gaura. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Upside down

The honey bee dangles from a gaura. And, no net below! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

High-wire act