For most of my life I've thought of the honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) as a pretty but rather sterile tree, especially as far as wildlife was concerned. They are native and have a light, pretty shade, but they weren't good for much more than that. A few years ago I started to learn how wrong I was.
wheel bug egg clusters are often found on honeylocust trees and that their spring hatching seems to be timed to coincide with the honeylocust blooms.) Indeed, they had! In fact, it looked like the little creatures had hatched out a couple days before and were starting to wander from their egg masses in search of food. Note the egg mass on the bottom of the big branch, directly below the smaller branch coming out on the upper surface.
That afternoon was warm, and I noticed that I was starting to hear a bit of humming from the direction of the honeylocust trees. By the next morning, it seemed as if the entire yard was humming, as bees and flies (and the quieter butterflies) flocked to the honeylocust blooms to sip up some of that delicious honeyish goodness.
I took a few photos of some of the visitors....
While I saw a monarch occasionally sipping high up in the trees, this red admiral was down at eye level...and at one point a honeybee cruised by to see if the red admiral's bloom was "better" than the other ones that she had obviously been visiting.
Near the red admiral was a butterfly that I didn't recognize. Several guidebooks later, I decided that it's a border patch, also known as a sunflower patch (for its preferred larval food), that was visiting a little outside of its normal range. The patch butterflies - named for their solid patches of color - are generally a butterfly of the southwest and more tropical regions. They are part of the crescent and checkerspot clan.
If you look below the patch, there is also a dark bee, probably a solitary bee of some sort, feeding on the pollen and nectar as well.
While bees, especially honey bees, were probably the most common feeders on the honeylocust blossoms, there were some flies as well. I managed to catch reasonable shots of these two different types of flies as they briefly rested in the sun, taking a break from their "arduous" task.
I've never tried to time how long the honeylocust bloom time lasts, but I'll be enjoying the literal buzz while it does. Be sure to check yours out, if you're lucky enough to have a honeylocust in your vicinity!