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Nature Watch, July 6, 2022

What’s that sweetness in the air? If it’s not roses, could it be milkweed, blooming now and attracting honey and native nectar-seeking bees? But bees also must have pollen to feed their grub-form young before they develop wings. Without pollen, no bees. And excellent sources are the common and narrow-leaved plantains of lawns (if not mowed too often and the long flowering stalk is allowed to bloom). One of our most interesting native pollinators, the docile bi-colored striped sweat bee, with its metallic-green head, seems to prefer it over other pollen sources. Kerri Brosnen at the North Branch Nature Center has set up a viewing area on the lawn there, where you can watch these remarkable tower-building ground bees at work.