The volunteer winter squash are back, and so are the squash bees. I found several male blossoms on the plant, all folded up and limp. One of them turned out to be a squash bee dorm, with two bees curled up in the bottom.
Squash bees are native to North America, specializing in squash flowers. They’re solitary bees that do best in undisturbed ground where squash grows every year. While the females sleep in their nests in the ground, like many other solitary bees, the males sleep in squash blossoms after they close up for the day.
In the morning, they fly out and pollinate the next day’s blossoms, long before honeybees warm up and come out. By noon, the blossoms close, and bees go back to sleep, after a job well done.