I was taking pictures the other day of a bee gathering nectar and pollen from a goldenrod (a tall plant with a messy head of tiny feathery yellow flowers) when a wasp flew right into the bee, pushed it off the flower, and took its place. The bee just humbly flew to another plant (there were dozens of them around) and continued its task. I wondered, was the bee angry at the wasp? Do bees even have feelings? (According to this article from Scientific American, bees might have feelings/emotions, although it is too soon to say so and much more research is needed. Part of the problem is that it is hard enough to define and measure what an emotion is when conducting research studies with humans, with animals and especially insects there’s a whole other layer of complexity in making sure your study is measuring what you are trying to measure, in this case, emotions.)
This bee didn’t seem too bothered by the wasp’s rudeness though – she nimbly drifted from flower to flower as I struggled to focus my camera in order to take the perfect picture. I did manage to get one or two decent pictures, although not as close as I would’ve liked as there were flowers waving in the breeze blocking my view of the bee for most of the time she was there. The best picture is the one I included in this post. In it you can see the bee with its proboscis sucking the nectar from one of the goldenrod’s flower heads.
In any case, I hope the bee enjoyed its sugary lunch 🙂