Here’s a bumblebee showing her technique for working this kind of flower.
Here’s the brown bee that has been out for the last couple days. You won’t see them later in the season.
That got me to thinking. Perhaps there are specific bees that appear as each ring matures?
Or could it be that there used to be a dozen species of flowers blooming at this time, each with its own specific bee, and now only the balsam roots have resisted cattle grazing, sagebrush, drought and cheatgrass, so the bees are all using them.
And ants, as you can see above. Not to mention the crab spider hiding under the stamens, waiting for one of them to come close. It would all make an elegant and exciting experiment.
Note: If the hypothesis were proven true, a secondary question would be: How many species of bee have we lost, the ones that were unable to adapt? It haunts me.