I am always amazed at what creatures do to prepare for the winter…and for that matter, just survive each day. A few weeks ago, someone had thrown some watermelons outside. I think their intent was to feed deer as there were apples and other deer-friendly things about as well. I don’t think deer would have enjoyed the melons as I found them:
Anyhow, during the Fall, things can get pretty tight for any nectar-eating insects. There are limited things blooming. Goldenrod and asters and mums and a few other Fall flowers do produce a lot of nectar, but many people view those plants as weeds and cut them down or otherwise try to minimize their presence.
I often see yellow jackets attack my beehives trying to get any bits of honey or nectar that they can get…the yellow jackets always lose but it is a lot of effort for the bees to fend off attacks all day long. If I am around, I sort of help the bees. I have literally mashed a dozen yellow jackets at a time as they land on the hives. Yellow jackets on a bee hive seem to be wary of the honeybees but apparently never see me coming. Anyhow, you may have noticed that anything left outside…pop cans, watermelon, and hummingbird feeders all attract yellow jackets and honeybees as they make a final push to survive the Fall and stockpile for the Winter.
When I saw these pieces of watermelon, it was most interesting the number and variety of insects that were all sharing time filling up on as much sugar as they could. I saw hornets and yellow jackets and wasps and honeybees…all working side-by-side. They were desperate I suppose though they didn’t act desperately. It’s juts a matter of life for them I guess, and outside of their home nests, there was no fighting for food. I think there is a lesson there but I will leave that for you to determine (and fill me in if you want!)