Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Precious Pollinators - The B's

Bees such as this Honeybee below, is one of nearly 4,000 species to be exact! Some form colonies, others are solitary, so keep track of what you see so you know what to provide for.

Butterflies in the Order of Lepidoptera (this goes WAY back to the grade school days - Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, anyone else remember that??) They only feed in full sun, so if you can, carve out an area you can dedicate to attracting these beauties. They love rotting fruit and puddles of damp mud where they can get minerals from, so feel free to compost this way.

This is a gorgeous Tiger Swallowtail on a Milkweed plant from here (a great website that has AWESOME images!!)

Beetles often get a bad wrap, and usually rightly so, they tend to much leaves and put holes in our precous plants. However, they also pollinate some of my fave's ie: Magnolia, Paw Paw and Calycanthus also known as Sweetshrub.

Birds, and HUMMINGBIRDS especially play a huge role in pollination. Their long beaks and tongues draw out the nectar, I thought it was interesting to learn that their beaks and wings can also carry pollen. I get CRAZY excited when I see them in my yard or even on my feeder, I am like a small, squealing child. (Guilty as charged!)

Joe Schneid, of Louisville, Kentucky was lucky enough to catch one of my FAVORITE birds in action, the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. She is sipping on some bee balm.

Bats are not really pollinators in this area (they eat the insects around here, which is fine by me!) Unless you can grow cactus, which happens to be one of their food sources, you're probably never going to notice them. There is no need to be afraid of them either, out of the 1,100+ species, only 3 are vampire bats, none of which live here, and even then, they DO NOT like people, they eat other small animals.

Are you lucky enough to have any of these in your garden? If so, do you track them? If not, will you add some plants that will help attract them?

Happy Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. Amy,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog looks great... keep up the good work!

    We get hummingbirds and honeybees in our garden. Haven't seen any Swallowtail butterflies.