Posted by Benji
During my insect counts yesterday at La Huerta Roots and Rays, I surveyed a patch of oregano. Wow was that patch buzzing with activity! Look at the bumble bee in the adjacent photo, who was crawling and foraging all over an oregano plant. Note the 'pollen baskets' (technically called 'corbiculae') on her hind legs. This is how some bee species store their pollen until they get back to their nest.
The oregano also had more bees in the genus Agapostemon than I think I’ve seen all summer! Agapostemon are a kind of green sweat bee and many can be identified by their metallic green head/body and their darker (often yellow and black in males) abdomen. If anyone has a thick patch of oregano in their gardens, take a quick look next time you’re there and see if you can spot any of the metallic green sweat bees on your flowers; they’re some of my favorites to look at. For more information, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agapostemon (the wikipedia article is short and very readable, take a look)