The Pollinators are Out and About

With warmer temperatures and sunshine over the weekend, the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Hepatica opened up their petals to invite some early emerging pollinators to stop by.

These tiny insects were very easy to overlook, as they flew around and didn't perch for long.

I was excited to see several bee species, a parasitic wasp, and fly that that mimics a bee in appearance.

This Ichneumon wasp was the only insect taking its time to enjoy the spring day and perch on the Bloodroot petals. Ichneumon wasps parasitize other insects - laying their eggs in live 'hosts' such as caterpillars, sawflies and larvae of beetles.

Read an earlier post about the importance of Ichneumon and other wasps in the native landscape.
My first time seeing a Bee Fly, probably a Greater Bee Fly. These flies have long mouthparts that look like giant black straws. Their hairy bodies and yellowish coloring make them look very similar to bees. These flies parasitize larvae of solitary bees.
Read an earlier post on bee mimics.

Ichneumon Wasp and Bee species on Bloodroot.
Tiny (less than 1/4 inch) bees nectaring on Hepatica.

Another tiny bee (possibly a type of sweat bee) covered in white pollen from the Hepatica.

A type of Carpenter Bee which "excavate nests with their mandibles in the pith of broken or burned plant twigs and stems. Females overwinter as adults in partially or completely excavated stems. In the spring, this resting place (hibernaculum) is modified into a brood nest by further excavation." (

Read my post at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens about the importance of leaving plant debris, leaves, rocks and logs to provide habitat for overwintering insects.

What early spring pollinators are you seeing in your yard?