On Saturday, while out watering the flowers in the back garden, I noticed a big bumblebee resting at the center of one of my Cosmos. I got my camera, carefully focused...then realized the bee was frozen in place. Like paralyzed. How totally weird. In looking for the reason, I found a creepy looking albino spider with red stripes on either side of its fat body on the underside of the flower. I've never seen a spider like this before, but the stripes surely had to mean something dire.
Between the heat, lawn mowing and a quick walk to the mailbox, I forgot to research the spider. I wanted to know specifically if it was capable of killing a bumblebee...or poisoning a human.
Sunday night--watering by moonlight to avoid the unrelenting sun--I find a frozen, dead honey bee in the center of the same plant. And buggers, look there, under the petals...it's that damn white spider again!
I do an internet search and discover that indeed the crab spider is the bee killer. She--because of course, with those red stripes, it had to be female--has a paralyzing venom, loves her some yummy bee juice, which she sucks out of the poor frozen creature, apparently while it's still alive. Gross. Totally vampirically gross.
This morning, while it's overcast and slightly cooler--though only until the clouds dissipate and the temps soar back into the high 90s--I do some quick yard chores, water the pots and planters...and find this:
Another honey bee murdered. Sadly, it was covered in pollen, just doing it's job and the killer spider nailed the poor thing. This makes three bees in as many days and I can't have that. I deliberately have plants in my garden to draw the bees, not invite them in for a grisly death.
Nuking creatures that have as much right to exist as the rest of us isn't something I normally like to do...however, honey bees are far more crucial for the environment than a life-sucking spider. I didn't use a sharpened stake, garlic, or holy water, but I did dispose of the thing, no details necessary.
I just can't have my guests slaughtered when they come to visit.