I have a butterfly bush that seems to be intoxicating to bees. Whenever I check the blossoms there are lethargic bees on the flowers...they appear drugged! One morning before dawn I picked some flowers from the shrub and brought them in and a bumblebee was "sleeping" on the blossoms so I took it outside and brushed it off. Since then I check every day and there are honeybees and bumblebees all motionless or moving slowly along the blossoms. I can pick the flowers and the bees just sit there. Here is a photo of 2 bumblebees but there is a honeybee on the other side. I have not used pesticides in my garden and no nearby shrubs seem to affect them the same way. I assume the bees recover because when I brush them off the plant they are soon gone.
Question for bee experts: What is going on with these bees?
They sleep in the blossoms, guess they are just more comfortable there... but for a bumble to 'fly' they have to get to 86* to do so. Guess the day just got too cold for them and they can't get warmed up enough since they stayed out working too late...
Honeybees get quite lethargic in cold weather, and do not fly at night. If they were harvesting the pollen or honey too late in the day, or a cold breeze started while they were out then they sure would just hang onto the flowers until they warmed up the next morning. Seems that air temperature under 50*F stops them flying.
Thanks for the replies! We never stop learning, do we?