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Stretching their Wings

October 4th, 2009

It’s been raining a lot here lately and our poor bees get a little restless when they can’t leave the hive. When we have a warm sunny day we see them all over the gardens. It’s kind of funny because we usually don’t see our bees in the garden, I see a lot of solitary bees, and on occasion a honey bee. But now that it’s getting colder I’ve seen a lot of our bees in the gardens.
Bees_entering_hive
I especially see them around water sources getting drinks. They love Lucy’s bowl in the front lawn. I put some leaves in it so they don’t drown.
Bees_drinking_out_of_Bowl
If you don’t have water sources for beneficial insects, consider added a small basin filled with sand or straw to you garden. Make sure you replace the water frequently so as not to breed mosquitos. You’ll be rewarded with lots of beneficials flitting around your gardens.

Have you noticed more bees as fall is coming or fewer?

I Love It!

September 28th, 2009

I love it when I catch a bee mid-flight. I have a few of these photos and each time I capture one it just makes me smile, I don’t know why. I think it’s perhaps because their little legs are dangling or perhaps because these bumble bees look as though they shouldn’t be able to fly.
bee_mid_flight
When I downloaded my photos yesterday this one brought a smile to my face, I thought I’d share a smile with you today!

What brings a smile to your face?

Free Pollinator Plant Guide

July 30th, 2009

While reading through my current Organic Gardening magazine I came across a small article about pollinators. The Pollinator Partnership is offering a free guide: Selecting Plants for Pollinators.
Bees_on_milkweed
If you’re interesting in downloading this free guide, just type in your zip code when you follow this link and they’ll give you the guide that’s specific for your region. I happen to be in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Oceanic Province and NAPPC Including the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and parts of: Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee.
Honeybee_on_Nicotiana
Pollinators also include butterflies and hummingbirds, along with beetles, flies and bats. Who wouldn’t want to attract more of these to their gardens?
Hummingbird_at_feederMonarch_Butterfly
Bee_on_Echinacea
I downloaded the guide yesterday and have been looking through it. I’m always looking for new plants to introduce to my gardens that will be beneficial for pollinators and other insects.
Butterfly_on_Echinacea
I love that this buide includes a chart of flowers and their bloom time so you can stagger the blooms so that somethings always providing pollen and nectar for the beneficial birds and insects in your gardens.

Have you incorporated any new plants this year specifically for pollinators?

Sleeping Bees

July 18th, 2009

Yesterday afternoon we had a thunderstorm roll through. I was out on the porch watching the rain when I noticed this little guy (or gal) sleeping on my hanging basket. I suppose since he can’t be out flying around he figured a catnap would be nice.
Sleeping_Bee
He slept here through the entire rain storm and a few minutes after it ended he took off to go about his business gathering nectar & pollen.

Have you ever noticed sleeping bees in your gardens?

Checking on the Our Hive Split

July 16th, 2009

Yesterday we went out and checked our two hives. We wanted to make sure the old hive was still doing well and thriving, and they are (time to put on a new box for them).
Checking_on_the_Beehive
We also wanted to make sure the new queen had been accepted and was going to work laying eggs and building the new hive, and she was. We were able to spot eggs, larvae and new capped brood in the new hive. That means our queen is hard at work and she’s no longer living in a tiny box, she’s got a whole hive to rule over.
Empty_Queen_Cage
Because we split our hive we won’t be able to harvest any honey this year. It’s the honey harvesting season right now, so we’ll be searching out a local beekeeper to buy some all-natural local honey from!

Do you buy local honey?

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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