This Bee Gets Punched by Flowers For Your Ice Cream | Deep Look


OK, this bee seems confused. That leaf she’s gnawing on is no flower. But this is an alfalfa leafcutting bee. She needs hunks of leaves to build her nest. A lot of them. All this is her lacy handiwork. She hauls the pieces back home. Leafcutters use them to line the inside of
their nest. In nature, she might use a nook and cranny
in a log. But here, her nest is in what’s basically
a bee apartment building. A high-rise made of Styrofoam. These markings help the bee find her way back
to her personal condo. You know, like, 7B. And furnishing it takes a while, because,
see that pile? These are the pieces they dropped. The bees are here to work in this alfalfa
field in California. They’re from Europe originally, but farmers
here use them because they have a real knack for pollinating alfalfa flowers, which grow
tiny seeds inside these curly pods. Farmers use the seeds to plant new fields
of alfalfa … … which is grown to make hay … … to feed these gals. So, really, your glass of milk comes courtesy
of these bees. But pollinating alfalfa flowers is a lot trickier
than it looks. Even honeybees can’t really hack it. Here’s why. Alfalfa keeps its pollen locked away inside
its flowers. To get it, the bees have to step on a spring-loaded
petal called a keel petal. Here’s how it works. Pop! It releases this column that has the pollen
at the end. It’s called “tripping” the flower. Here it is again. The column has some force – the bee might
get a good thwack in the face. Leafcutting bees just don’t care; they can
take a punch. Pop. Pop. Honeybees don’t really like to tangle with
that. They’ll usually step around gingerly, trying
to sip nectar from the side without setting it off. Leafcutting bees get coated in pollen and
bring it back home to their nest so they can pack it in there to feed their growing babies. Each one is bundled in a little leaf-wrapped
bassinet. Aw, there they are. The siblings all lined up together. A new generation of the toughest little bees
around. Hi. It’s Lauren. We want to do something extra special: a filming
expedition to Oaxaca, Mexico. If just 1 in 1,000 of you support us on Patreon,
this trip is totally on. Let’s do this. Link in the description. One more thing. Our partner, PBS Digital Studios, wants to
hear from you. It’s a survey, so we can make even better
shows. It takes about 10 minutes and you might win
a sweet T-shirt. That link is also in the description. Thanks!


  1. So basically California is again introducing foreign infects that displace native insects for profit. North American bees have been pollinating alfalfa for 200 years. Why would they introduce another invasive species that is going to get out of control once they swarm into another state displacing bee colonies. Wth.

  2. Bee interview:-

    Employer Bee 🐝: Your Skills?

    Fresher Bee 🐝: I can cut leaves..

    Employer Bee 🐝: you're hired..

    Sucks to bee Human because you cannot get a job no matter what skills you have..

  3. Laura what is your problem seriously? You honestly show us that x-ray of where all the pupa and larvae and everything are slowly growing into a mature be inside of these little tubes head to stinger anterior to posterior stacked on top of one another and you don't even stop to think that now all of them we're going to be able to think about is why you didn't show us how they said they then evacuate when obviously the one at the bottom of the tube was placed first and will most likely mature first while the one ceiling everyone else has potential coffins was placed last so so confusing.

  4. Wow imagine if instead of using pets to make hay to feed the cows we allowed the cows to roam the land and feed of the grass like normal animals? No one has ever though of that…

  5. I love and appreciate this kind of content so much I actually spent the full 20 to 30 minutes it required to fill out the survey

  6. "Here, I brought you nectar . I-it's not like I made it especially for you or anything, I just had some left over, okay!? B-baka!"

  7. "Sometimes, the only way to spring a trap… is to spring the trap."
    "Alternatively, don't be there when it springs."
    ~Suraya Hawthorne and Cayde-6

  8. Wow milk comes from these bees so cool.
    And our plants.
    And our fresh air
    And our food market
    Plus animals who are dependent on plants
    Basically we are f**ked without these things

  9. So these leafcutting bee's take a hit and don't stay down? Why does this feel like it should be a scene from the next Rocky film? They travel cross country for a bit and Rocky somehow has enough funds to buy a bee farm and it has a swarm of these just doing their thing.

  10. Meanwhile these bees got their 5 star apartment, there one leaf bee come to my grandparents homes and start to make a nest at my grandmother's old traditional clothes (she hang it outside because she want to make it as memorial thingy for her grandchildren to see)🤭

  11. I love solitary bees so much. They’re way more efficient than honey bees, and they’re so easy to makes homes for. A LOT of solitary bees are more endangered than honey bees, but not a lot of people care about them. They just care about the cute little honey bees.


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