|Green Metallic Bee, Ailanthus Webworm Moth and Hoverfly.|
I appreciate all the pollinators at Clay and Limestone, but, my favorite are the bees.
|Green metallic bee on salvia leaf|
In the United States, honey bees, bumble bees, and approximately 4000 species of solitary bees pollinate agricultural crops, our garden plants, and plants of lawn, meadow and forest. How we garden and the habitat we create can contribute to the our native bee's health and survival in an often hostile world.
According to conservation biologists
- "bees are “keystone organisms” in most terrestrial ecosystems. That is all of us land dwellers!
- Bees are essential for maintaining the integrity, productivity and sustainability of many types of ecosystems: the forest understory, pastures, fields, meadows, roadsides, many agricultural crops, fruit orchards, and backyard vegetable and flower gardens. That is all that we admire and love.
- Without bees, many flowering plants would eventually become extinct. Can you think of any you want to say so long to?
- Without the work of bees, many fruit- and seed-eating birds and some mammals, including people, would have a less varied and less healthy diet. We need our pollinators! (source)
|Although, this family includes brightly colored metallic bees,|
the majority of halictids are drably colored and small like this small carpenter bee
- Plant more native plants~annual and perennial~known to attract bees in your garden region
- Make sure you have several different plants in bloom from early spring to late fall
- Eliminate the use of insecticides that are toxic to bees and other beneficial pollinators
- Provide shelter from the wind, rain, or cold
- Provide nesting spots~Soft and exposed soil, decaying logs, nesting boxes, research what they need.
- Don't be in such a hurry to tidy up the garden or cover every piece of earth with mulch
- Provide water
We can do this. Together we can make a big difference. xxoogail
This is the second in a series on native bees and other pollinators in our gardens. Other posts about bees you might enjoy are also listed.
Part I~Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)
A Splendid Creature For Your Garden (here)
*The Green Metallic Bee is also known as a Sweat Bee. And, yes, they are attracted to the gardener's salty sweat and, yes, they can sting. In case you wondered: their sting is rated 1.0 on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index~making it almost painless! (1.0= Light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.) But, pain is subjective~be careful out there. If you are allergic to bee stings even this tiny bite can be dangerous.
This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.