A whimsical look at some of the other life that may be growing in our own backyards
Why: Pollen grains come in countless shapes and sizes—each one more ornate and geometrically complex than the
last. Many bees coordinate their daily schedules to coincide with the times that various flowers open, so they can achieve optimal pollination.
Size: From 1.7 to 3.5 cm
Why: Bumblebees are among the first
to emerge in spring. After landing on certain flowers, they will adjust the speed of their wingbeats until the vibration shakes the pollen grains loose, so they can carry it to the next flower. Bumblebees are one of the few members of the Apidae (bee/wasp) family that are social.
Ant (Family: Formicidae)
Size: From 1 mm to 5 cm
Why: Contrary to bees, all ants are social and their communal homes can evolve
for years. Their vocations within the colony include farmers, day-care workers, soldiers and even ranchers, who protect colonies of aphids from predators in exchange for honeydew, which the ants “milk” by rubbing the aphids’ abdomens.