Reconnaisance missions

The BBC reports that butterflies follow definite flight-paths….

This reminds of the bumble-bee I watched this morning while I sat sipping tea on my second-floor balcony. The balcony is quite long, with large honeysuckle vines growing out of large containers at each end. The leaves are new and just starting to open; we’re many weeks away from any sign of flowers on the vines.

So I was puzzled at first by the behaviour of this large bumblebee. It moved with purpose up and down over the vines — first one, then the other — and my impression was that the poor deluded thing was looking for flowers. Many minutes passed before it stopped moving up and down over the vines, hovered for a moment, and flew away.

I imagine that honeysuckle blooms are at the top of the catering chart, so I didn’t blame the fellow for doing a little reconnaisance. Then it occurred to me… how did he know? He must have remembered from last season.

I think I’ve been underestimating some of our fellow travellers…