First up, and earliest in the season (4/15/2010) after a long hungry winter is the Willow (species unspecified). Can't you just hear this honeybee: "Ummm... Yummmm!"
Along about the 24th of May, The Chemist was out in the garden one day, when he realized he was being watched. This diminutive peeping tom declares: "No pollen for me; I'm here for something else altogether." Crab spider in ambush mode on Vicia americana (American vetch).
Then came Mertensia lanceolata (chiming bells, 5/31/2010). Still hungry, but a whole different bee (Bombus sp. or at least that group).
Fast forward to today: yep, they're still at it out there among the flowers! The Chemist reports: "This honeybee put in a great deal of effort trying to squeeze into the tight flowers of Hedysarum boreale [Utah sweetvetch]." Remember, bees, no means no!
Competition (or something) is heating up though. As he watched, this wasp zoomed in aggressively. The Chemist describes the action: "The wasp/hornet? also was apparently getting nectar but a pair of them seemed more intent on patrolling around the plants (looking for nest provisions?) than foraging for nectar. At one point one of them, apparently intentionally, gave a honey bee a good ramming although the honeybee seemed pretty unperturbed by the collision."
Meanwhile, serenity prevails over at the Orobanche fasciculata (broomrape) [now known by some as Aphyllon fasciculata, but let's not go there*], a parasitic plant nestled quietly amid its host, in this case Artemisia frigida (pasture, silver, or fringed sage). Perhaps these gals were done with the business of agent-assisted courtship, and ready to settle quietly into motherhood-mode.
*I'm old-fashioned, I know, but I still subscribe to the theory that scientific names are supposed to be more permanent and useful than common names.
Thanks, Chemist! Bee Lady has been equally busy observing pollinators, so we may have more decent photos to share soon... (The Phylogenist taught me something new about my own camera last week, but trust me you don't want to see my first attempts!)