|leaves over bare ground are fine, too.|
It's possible that a heavy mulch may discourage bees from tunneling in your garden. Especially, mining bees. They are super important critters for spring and early summer pollination; critters you don't want to discourage.
|Green Metallic Sweat Bees are ground nesters, too.|
I'm not saying don't mulch! Mulch is good. Just remember that, too much of a good thing means no bare ground for our friends the ground nesting bees. Find a sunny area in your garden that you can leave mulch free or, if bare ground is too exposed, add a light layer of leaf mulch.
|Beds are mulched with leaves, paths with pine straw over newspaper|
There are just over 1,400 hundred species of Mining bees in North America. Mining bees (or Andrenid bees) resemble the typical honeybee in shape and size. Bodies are colored dark with fine light brown or yellow hairs. Mining bees are solitary bees and do not live in socially organized nests. Like the Green Metallic bee and other sweat bees, mining bees nest underground and frequently choose to live in a 'neighborhood' of other ground nesters. If you see one bee tunnel, you may see several.
|Source: How Things Work|
Each female mines out a cylindrical hole to raise offspring. The nest consists of a vertical tunnel and side cells along side the tunnel for hatching eggs. Females forage flowers in spring to buildup food reserve to raise the young. Once a cell has adequate food reserves, the female deposits an egg. The hatching larva feeds on the food reserves throughout the summer. Foraging activity generally lessens during the summer months and the bees become less noticeable. Mature larvae pupate and transform in adults during the late summer. Adults spend the winter inside the burrow and will emerge the following spring to start the whole cycle over. (source The Bee Man)
|pine straw laid over newspaper|
...and one more thing~Ixnay on the plastic or fabric weed barriers. It's not good for anything!
PS I trust you already know that pesticide is a No-No!
This post is part of a series on native pollinators in the garden~ Earlier posts and their links are listed below for your convenience.
Part I~Now Is The Time To Bee-gin Thinking About Bees ( here)
This Is The Place To Bee ( here)
If You Could Plant Only One Plant In Your Garden~Don't (here)
Must Bee The Season of The Witch (here)
Other bee posts you might want to read~
Count Yourself Lucky To Have Hoverflies (here)
Bumblebee Hotel (here)
Still Taking Care Of Bzzness (here)
My Sweet Embraceable You (here)
This post was written by Gail Eichelberger for my blog Clay and Limestone Copyright 2011.This work protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me for permission to copy, reproduce, scrape, etc.