The Austin winter so far has consisted of several days of freezing weather followed by several days of warm sunny days. One of the few plants in bloom right now is rosemary which grows great in Austin and tons of people have it planted in their yards. I really enjoy watching bees on rosemary blooms because the blooms are so small, and they really have to wiggle their little heads into the flowers to get the good stuff.
I also discovered this patch of various varieties of broccoli and cabbages gone to seed and the bees were all over it.
Here is a bee navigating its way through all the stems.
It is nice to know that even in late January there are still nectar and pollen sources to be had in the area. This bee is well on her way of filling up her pollen sacs.
There has been a lot of discussion on what would happen to our food supply if the pollinator population (both native bees and imported honey bees) were to decline dramatically or disappear altogether. The overall consensus is that it is not a good outcome for us humans.
What I didn’t realize is that some areas of the world are already dealing with a lack of adequate pollinators for their crops. In the Maoxian county of Sichuan, China, workers now have to pollinate pear and apple trees by hand because the pollinator population has, for all intents and purposes, been destroyed.
You can read the entire Guardian article here, but is a sobering look of what could happen if fundamental changes to America’s and the world’s agricultural practices are not made in the near future.