What a romantic! Did you know that the Xylocopa varipuncta, also known as the male Valley Carpenter Bee emits “a rose-scented blend of volatiles” from within “massive thoracic glands.”¹
You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
While courting the shiny black females,
Female Carpenter Bee
the amber male, with his bright green eyes and fuzzy amber body, emits a special cologne.²
Valley Carpenter Bee
The female decides if she likes his cologne and only then does nature takes its course.
When Love-in-a-mist met the Valley Carpenter Bee, it was a match made in gardening heaven.
Valley Carpenter Bee circling a Love-in-a-mist flower
Love in a mist flowered all over the garden this spring, both front and back and the bees love it. It makes me so happy to see them buzzing from bloom to bloom. Sometimes I just sit nearby and watch them work.
The more typical, seen daily be the dozen
What surprises me is that most of the bees are small with stripes. There are dozens of them throughout the day working in the garden.
Conversely, the golden hunk of bee is an occasional visitor.
Meanwhile, his female counterpart is out back pollinating the pumpkin planted by the squirrel.
Runaway Pumpkin Vine…and yes, love in a mist
The pumpkin vine is racing across the garden at record speed and it’s only June. In all my years of gardening, I’ve never seen anything like it.
The bees working in my garden are docile. They don’t mind my presence as I brush up against the flowers, currently referred to by my family as “the jungle”. Love in a mist has completely taken over.
Slinky guards her catnip near the love-in-a-mist
Slinky likes to rest near one of the flowers in the back, but to be fair, it’s also close to her secret Nepeta plant, also known as catnip.
Mouse is also enamored with this flower, attracting lots of camera time with his antics.
Mouse loves to pose
Lounging on the sidewalk
Studying the love-in-a-mist
In repose in the jungle
On the prowl
In case it’s not obvious by now, I love this beautiful plant and the ease with which it grows. The original seeds were part of a “seeds that attract hummingbirds and bees” packet a few years back. They didn’t do much throughout the drought, but they’ve loved our season of rain.
We’re in the midst of a long heat wave now, so it could spell the end. I’m enjoying them while they last.
Pollinator at work
The fruit is a large capsule
Going to seed
Going to seed
¹Wikipedia: Xylocopa varipuncta
²Native Bees: What’s the Buzz