I noticed that the flowers faded faster this year and that our bigger, healthier hive was very busy swarming in and out and jetting to the fluffy blossom masses. Turns out there's a connection. The flowers fade and "turn" once they've been all pollinated. Its very possible that with our more mature population this summer the bees polished off the nectar flow and pollen distribution faster than last year.
I also noticed this year for the first time the anatomy of the hydrangeas. The "blooms" we notice and ply with ph to alter and sell at a fortune to fill out bridal bouquets everywhere aren't blooms at all. They're just bracts...fakey flowers with no real sexy flower body parts. They're all for show...just billboards to attract the insects. You have to look deeper to see the real goods beyond the advertising.
See those little star shaped flowers starting their lives as white pearls that are hiding in the inner core of the cluster? That's where its really at. Cool eh? Botany rocks my socks.