A honey bee on a Privet plant (Ligustrum). Native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, privets can grow up to 3 m tall and are tolerant of different soil types. Its name is derived from the word “private” as privets were used as privacy hedging. European privets (Ligustrum vulgare) were used for hedging in Elizabethan gardens in England, but were later replaced by more reliably evergreen species, Ligustrum ovalifolium, from Japan, which is oddly also known as the California Privet (seen here). The fruits of this species are small purple black drupes, poisonous to humans but eaten by many birds. In general, privets are also highly allergenic and can cause respiratory irritation, yet they are still one of the most common hedging plant in the UK.
Yesterday, my Instagram pal @mtnmyke, identified the bee on the privet in the first photo above, as a young carniolan honey bee. Young, because she still had her fuzz. @mtnmyke, who’s a bee keeper himself, also educated me a while back that all worker honey bees are female, not male, as I had made that mistake a few posts ago. I had no idea. But can anyone be surprised here? After all, females across all species always do all the work. And the male bees? As @mtntmyke put it: “They just fly around and look for queens to breed with. #useless "
It’s nice to have pals eager to share their knowledge. He was also kind enough to offer me to work his 13 hives without a suit if I was ever desperate to instantly cure my Lyme disease since apitherapy is a growing niche in Lyme disease treatment. Gosh, it’s not often you meet such generous people on the Internet willing to subject you to a massive swarm of bee stings and pain in the name of entertainment, err, I mean, science and compassion. But I had to pass. With the dwindling bee supply in our world, I wouldn’t want any of them to kamikaze themselves.
I know. I'm just thoughtful like that.