Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lift Off!

Today I realized that it has been quite some time since I last posted: more than a year and a half! Unfortunately I don’t have the amount of time I wish I had to dedicate to this blog, but I thought I’d post a photo I took earlier this week at Lafayette Reservoir. I took it on my smartphone, and I startled the bee in the process. Due to the rolling shutter, you can see the path of the bee’s wings during lift off:

Lift Off

Like most insects, bees fly by moving their wings in a figure-eight pattern. They have a total of four wings (two forewings and two hindwings), but during flight each fore- and hindwing hook together to form one large wing each.

Happy Spring!

Bring Back the Native Pollinators! We Need them More than Ever

It’s interesting to see how back the concern for native pollinators goes.

Polinizador's Blog

A long-horned bee on sunflower © Beatriz Moisset A long-horned bee on sunflower
© Beatriz Moisset

Excerpt from the USDA document prepared by the Division of Bee Culture in 1942: “The Dependence of Agriculture on the Beekeeping Industry—a Review.”

Wherever a proper balance exists between plants and pollinating insects, both flourish. Agricultural development, however, has seriously interfered with this balance. It has demanded the growing of certain plants in enormous acreages and has unwittingly destroyed native pollinating insects as well as their nesting places. As a result the burden of pollination has been increased to such an extent that wild bees are no longer adequate or dependable. . . In many places the depletion of wild pollinators is so acute that honeybees have to be brought in especially for pollination, and so in practically all agricultural areas honeybees are now the most numerous of the flower-visiting insects.

Read the full article in Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens 2014

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The Milkweed Community

Polinizador's Blog

Monarch butterfly on common milkweed © Beatriz Moisset Monarch butterfly on common milkweed
© Beatriz Moisset

The monarch season is coming, and many gardeners throughout the country are getting ready to welcome the arriving butterflies with milkweeds lovingly cultivated in their gardens. They also brace themselves to battle whatever ills may affect the caterpillars. Milkweed bugs and milkweed beetles are seen with hostility. The “dreaded” tachinid flies, and “hated” stink bugs infuriate gardeners even more. Aphids are not welcome. Lady beetles and lacewings generate mixed feelings because they feed on aphids but they are not loath to snack on some monarch eggs or small caterpillars.

Spotted Lady Beetle larva (Coleomegilla maculata) © Beatriz Moisset Spotted Lady Beetle larva (Coleomegilla maculata)
© Beatriz Moisset

It is important to take a look at entire ecosystems, not just single species as Carole says in “Saving the Monarch Butterfly” (http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/saving-the-monarch-butterfly/).

“The Monarch Butterfly is in deep trouble, and many passionate organizations have been created to save…

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