A bumblebee (genus Bombus) and black beetle gather nectar from amongst the stamens of a hibiscus flower (family Malvaceae) at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, Massachusetts. Like their relatives the honeybees, bumblebees feed on nectar, using their long hairy proboscis which is folded under the head during flight. Numerous grains of pollen can be seen adherent to this bee’s legs, demonstrating why bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators. Over 250 species of bumblebee are known, being found primarily at higher altitudes or latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, although they are also found in South America.
The hibiscus genus is comprised of several hundred species that are native to subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. They are renowned for their large, showy flowers and are commonly known simply as hibiscus, or less commonly as rose mallow.