Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NATURE NOTES and GOOD FENCES

Today it seemed appropriate to combine two memes, "Nature Notes and Thursday's "Good Fences".  Their links can be found at the bottom of this post.


I have been sharing a lot of photographs lately from the Norfolk Botanical Garden We visited the garden back in July while visiting family.  


Those bamboo stems are used as a nesting station for native bees.



The sign nearby reads: "These bamboo stems are for nesting use by native bees.  Unlike the European honey bee, the vast majority of native bees are 'solitary' bees and do not live in hives or colonies.  Approximately 30% of solitary bees (around 1,200 species) in north America are tunnel nesters.  This site will provide a dry, warm site and provide protection from predators and parasites.

Most species of solitary bees will build dividing walls with materials such as mud or leaf pulp to create separate brood cells.  Leafcutter bees use their mandibles to cut particular sizes and shapes from leaves and flower petals to fit different parts of the brood cell, lining the entire cell.  Before she closes each cell, the bee will mix nectar and pollen to form a loaf of 'bee bread' that the merging larva will feed on until it emerges as a bee and forage for itself.

Native bees are critical to pollinating our agricultural and ornamental plants - they are actually far more effective than honey bees.  To help protect and support our native bees reduce or eliminate the use of insecticides in your yard, plant "pollinator friendly" plants and provide some undisturbed nesting areas."



There is a very interesting article on bees by UC Berkeley at this site.

I also found the blog of a bee keeper in Richmond, Virginia, which you can link to here.

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I am linking with Nature Notes and Good Fences with my thanks to Michelle and Theresa for hosting these fun and very educational memes.