Archive for the ‘Pollination needs’ Category

50+ Flowering Pollen/Nectar Plants For Bumblebees

Here are three key points in planning your pollination garden. To attract U.S. native bumblebees: First, add both early(*), mid-summer, and late(**) flowers in the mix for a three seasons long garden. Second, mass together many of the same kinds of flowers, not just one or two plants, so that bees will spot them easier and to visit the planting frequently. […]

Our Native Bumblebees In Trouble

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized ten more animal species as Endangered Species, providing them protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These 10 species include 7 species of bees. Endangered status will afford the rusty-patched bumblebee protection under federal law. Bumblebees build their nests in the ground (and other places). Honeybees, however, […]

Monarch Tagging Program*

*Blog is guest authored by Joy Stewart, University of Tennessee Master Gardener. She lives in Bristol, TN. For such a small creature, weighing in at only half a gram, the Monarch butterfly has almost more remarkable facts and puzzling mysteries attached to it than one can count.  No other butterfly in the world migrates like […]

Celebrate National Pollinator Week

            June 20 – 26 is National Pollinator Week. National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them. Nine years ago the U.S. Senate unanimous approved and designated a week in June as “National Pollinator Week”. National Pollinator Week is […]

“Neo-Nicotinoid Free” — What Does This Means”

Earlier this year several big box store and regional independent garden center chains announced that the plants they sell in 2016 will be “neonicotinoid-free”. Large regional nurseries and greenhouse operations are also jumping on-board the anti-neonic bandwagon. This means that pesticides containing the ingredient acetamiprid and imidacloprid are members of the neonicotinoid class, and are forbidden to […]

Asian Pears Becoming Very Popular

Whether home-grown or store bought, Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) fruits ripen sweet and tasty on the tree (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). There are over 100 varieties available worldwide, many with difficult to pronounce. Investigate variety cold hardiness and winter chilling rating as some cultivars are hardier than others. Southern varieties require only 300- 600 hours of winter chilling temperatures […]

Unique Life Cycle Of Bumble Bees

  Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are highly beneficial insects that pollinate native wildflowers, fruits, vegetables, and many agricultural crops. They’re large robust insects with an easily identifiable black and yellow hairy abdomen. Hundreds of branched hairs pick up and transfer pollen from flowers. About 50 species of bumble bees inhabit North America. They share some common traits […]

Beware! Yellow Jackets

  Most humans fear and hate yellow jackets. They are actually wasps and important predators of several harmful insects. They’re easily identified by their distinctive markings along their abdomen. They tend to dart about rapidly, in a side-to-side flight pattern. Female yellow jackets are the ones capable of stinging. Wasps (Vespula spp.) are not bees; they’re brightly colored […]

Ground Nesting Bees Are Beneficial Pollinators

Spring signals the return of many species of birds and the bees to yards and gardens. In early spring increased activity by ground nesting bees cause alarm for many people; dirt pile nests start appearing in bare patches in the lawn. They are beneficial pollinators in the garden. Bees in the families Colletidae and Andrenidae represent the ground nesting […]

Growing Pear Trees Too Challenging For Southeast Gardeners?

  For many reasons growing pears in the Southeastern U.S. is very challenging. First, European (Pyrus communis) and Asian (P. pyrifera) pears are susceptible to fireblight (Erwinia amylovora). This bacterial disease is very difficult to manage. Two of the leading European pear varieties, ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Bosc’, are highly susceptible to fireblight. Varieties found to be fire […]