Tag Archives: Bee

Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants Article Grass-carrying Wasps ~ Isodontia spp.

Bee1

Grass-carrying wasps are a flower-visiting solitary wasp, common in late summer and early fall. Because they are solitary-nesting, and not colonial like yellowjackets or hornets, they do not sting humans to defend their nests. It’s an important distinction to make with wasps in our landscapes, so many are solitary and not aggressive.

 

 

 

Bee2They perform important ecosystem services, pollinating the plants in our landscape, and preying on foliage eating insects, crickets and katydids in particular.

Females look for prey, stinging them several times to paralyze and immobilize them. They carry their prey back to their nests, which are preexisting cavities such as hollow stems or holes bored in wood.

 

Bee3 The prey are stocked for their developing larvae to feed upon. Using nearby grasses, nests are divided into sections with pieces of grass, they also close the end of nest with grass.

Bee4If you erect a mason bee nest board (board with nesting holes drilled in it), grass-carrying wasps will sometimes build nests in the cavities. Look for pieces of grass sticking out the ends of the board holes or plant stems.

I have several different variations of stem nests hung in the yard for solitary bees (and wasps), this one in particular has been utilized almost exclusively by grass-carrying wasps. Cup plant and pale Indian plantain stems work extremely well, both are hollow.

Bee5Here’s a cross-section of one of those stems with the wasp larvae and stocked prey. In my yard, the grass-carrying wasps like to use little blue stem to seal off the cavities.

Bee6Look for grass-carrying wasps in late summer. In my yard, they like to visit stiff goldenrod, common boneset and pale Indian plantain flowers for nectar.

 

 

 

 

 

Article Posted From Restoring The Landscape Website

If You Are Interested In Purchasing Our Pollinator Seed Mix Please Visit Us At Our Website Native Wildflowers & Seeds From Ion Exchange, Inc.

 

 

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The Great Sunflower Project Article On The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11, 2012

The BUZZ: Join Us for the Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11!

Greetings citizen scientists! Our poll results are in, and, at last count, some 46% of you have sunflowers up and blooming. About one-third (34%) are still waiting for blooms (or encountered an gardening mishap), and another 21% didn’t plant sunflowers this year.

Those of you lucky enough to have sunflowers in bloom are diligently sending in your bee observations. Congratulations to all those who have already had the opportunity to observe, collect and report their data. Well done! Without your thoughtful observations, we would not have the wealth of information that we have to date.

To see results from the project using data reported up to 2012, have a look here: http://www.greatsunflower.org/results#map – you can zoom in on your area, see averages by type of garden and trends by year. Great stuff, and all because of your participation!

It’s important that you keep sending in data, so please join us and thousands of others across the country in The Great Bee Count on Saturday, August 11th.

Even if you do not have blooms on your sunflowers by August 11th, you can still be enjoy, learn and be part of the project by observing bees on other plants that you may have in bloom. Cosmos, tickseed, bee balm and echinacea, are all on our list, so you can collect data on these if your sunflowers are not blooming yet. And, it’s okay if your sunflower hasn’t bloomed yet. They will in time so you can make your 15 minute observation when they do open up.

And, this year, in support of the Great Bee Count, YourGardenShow.com will present a special online live broadcast “Double Feature” on August 11th, from 10am – noon EST (7am to 9am PST). First hour: a special “Ask Ian” Q&A show about pollination and pollinators followed by an hour of moderated interviews with bee experts talking about our pollinator friends. Join us for this one day event!: http://www.yourgardenshow.com/ask-ian

As you can see from our map, bees are declining in certain areas, and there are some areas where we have no data. Could that be your garden? The more we know, the more action will be able to be taken to preserve and enhance pollinator habitat.

Join us on August 11th!

Freddy B

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http://ionxchange.com/products/POLLINATOR-MIX.html

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