24 July 2012

Bees - what's what?

Between the heat and the drought, it's a struggle for all the living things out there, including plants, birds, insects and whatever is digging all those holes in our back yard.

The Havahart SprayAway is set up to discourage the four-leggged problem and we water several hours a day to keep enough pollen for the insects. Bird baths (all 3) have to be filled daily to keep the birds happily splashing.

New this year is a bunch of blue jays. We've seen as many as 8 at a time around the birdbaths.

There are fewer butterflies this year, but plenty of other interesting insects to watch, including skippers, bees, wasps, etc.
Honey bee on Heliotrope

Bee and pollinator protection organizations:
Great Pollinator Project http://www.greatpollinatorproject.org/
Bee Guardian Foundation http://www.beeguardianfoundation.org/
Xerces U.K. http://www.xerces.org/
Step Project Worldwide http://step-project.net/
Pollinator Partnership http://www.pollinator.org/
Wings and Seeds http://wingsandseeds.org/2012/03/08/kinomaagewin-aki-teachings-from-the-earth/
North American Buddhists and Pollinator Protection
U. S. Forest Service Pollinator Protection http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/friendlypractices.shtml/
Public Radio International Living On Earth http://www.loe.org/index.html
Ohio State University Bees and Pollination http://osu.campusguides.com/agnic_bees_pollination
Beyond Pesticides http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pollinators/index.htm

Honey bee on Purple Heart

Joe Pye Weed attracts several insects seeking pollen - what's this one?

Carpenter or Bumble bee on Heliotrope
The vegetables and flowers may have disappointed, but there are other ways to enjoy the outdoors this summer. 
Skipper on Vitex flowers
Gardens With Wings can help identify skippers.

Oh, and if you are on Facebook, "like" http://www.facebook.com/#!/4wasps
They regularly post photos of bees, wasps and other Beneficials.

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