Bugs are disappearing and have you been doing to attract them?


alp

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Apparently, insects are disappearing fast and it's not good for our farming, orchards or gardeners.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4998832/The-flying-insects-planet-depends-plummets-75.html

I don't like the rag, but it does have new stories pretty quickly and often..

I myself have been very naughty as I chopped off the head of the verbena bonariensis as they self seed everywhere. So for myself, I need to let them grow as there are very few flowers this time of the year.

Also, I removed tons of cerinthe seedlings.. Now I want to smack myself as they are pollinator magnets.

Also, I removed some evening primroses! Oh, dear! I have done everything wrong.

What can we do to attract more pollinators?
 
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Colin

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Hi,

You're most welcome to my bugs alp; I was sick of them whilst building my new garden hut; the nasty things biting me and making me cross eyed as they constantly flew across my field of vision; whilst I've been ripping English ivy out I've also been pestered by a fly in front of my face tormenting me; as I swatted one another replaced it; I mentioned in another thread the sound of these flies was just like the sound of lightsabers in Star Wars. I can't stand bugs or flies etc; wasps are the worst of the lot being the skinheads of the insect world. :(

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Our pollinators are doing just fine, thank you! We have several varieties of butterflies and moths, bees and wasps (I'm not thrilled about the wasps, but what comes, comes and hopefully keeps its stinger to itself), and cat tails. Yes, the cats get into the flower beds and come out powdered with pollen, and they have planted zinnias all over the place--dried zinnia seed pods make wonderful toys to bat around.
 
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Apparently, insects are disappearing fast and it's not good for our farming, orchards or gardeners.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4998832/The-flying-insects-planet-depends-plummets-75.html

I don't like the rag, but it does have new stories pretty quickly and often..

I myself have been very naughty as I chopped off the head of the verbena bonariensis as they self seed everywhere. So for myself, I need to let them grow as there are very few flowers this time of the year.

Also, I removed tons of cerinthe seedlings.. Now I want to smack myself as they are pollinator magnets.

Also, I removed some evening primroses! Oh, dear! I have done everything wrong.

What can we do to attract more pollinators?
you are referring to good bugs, right!:p

After rain my place becomes a marsh, puddle. Breeding ground for mosquitoes, etc . I have to check after every three days , if it has been drained well, as it tends to get blocked often.
 
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It was a good year for insects in Alberta. Honey and Bumble Bees, Yellow Jacket Wasps, Hornets, Moths and Butterflies. They have pretty well died off or gone into hibernation now so yesterday I cut down the Sage and other perennials. I keep a bug hotel on the fence under my Apple tree and I saved the hollow stalks of my Great Basin Wild Rye, I want to put together a home made bug hotel in the spring.
 

JBtheExplorer

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What can we do to attract more pollinators?
Plant species that are native to your area. That's the #1 best way to attract pollinators. If you aren't planting native species, you aren't helping native pollinators nearly as much as you could be. They rely on the species they've evolved with. Don't buy plants based on beauty, buy plants based on their native status. Once you limit yourself to natives, you'll find plenty of attractive species.

Plant different species that bloom at different times throughout the year. My native garden sees its first blooms in April and its last in October, and even a few flowers into November depending on the weather.

Never use chemicals. Not insecticides. Not herbicides. Not anything. Also grow your plants from seed or buy from trusted sellers that don't use neonicotinoids or other chemicals. The last thing you want to do is buy plants to help pollinators only to unknowingly buy plants that kill every pollinator that touches it.

Leave stems standing. Hollow stems or pithy stems provide shelter as well as nesting opportunities for small, harmless bees. In Spring, I'll cut stems to 1 or 2 feet tall. By June, they're all hidden by the new plant growth, but are still providing habitat.

Never remove leaves. Leaves shelter all sorts of different things such as insects and small animals like frogs, toads, caterpillars, and salamanders. They also break down and add nutrients to the soil for a healthier garden, and more importantly, a healthier habitat.

IMG_4818 copy1.jpg
 
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alp

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you are referring to good bugs, right!:p

After rain my place becomes a marsh, puddle. Breeding ground for mosquitoes, etc . I have to check after every three days , if it has been drained well, as it tends to get blocked often.
Yes! Certainly not mossies! Hehe!
 

alp

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@JBtheExplorer I agree with you. Native plants is what we want and I will leave an area for wildflowers next year. I did that last year, but the phacelias got on my nerves as they self seeded everywhere. I saw tons of bugs hovering on carrot flowers and my ammi visnagas last year. But this year the carrot flowers open very late and I missed seeing the hoverflies. Last year they were buzzing on my wild flower patch.

I am keeping my cerinthes for next year. I will leave the stems i.e. those I haven't cut as they provide a bit of insulation for the plants as well, and avoid using pesticides. I normally don't, apart from a few slug pellets.
 

alp

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Our pollinators are doing just fine, thank you! We have several varieties of butterflies and moths, bees and wasps (I'm not thrilled about the wasps, but what comes, comes and hopefully keeps its stinger to itself), and cat tails. Yes, the cats get into the flower beds and come out powdered with pollen, and they have planted zinnias all over the place--dried zinnia seed pods make wonderful toys to bat around.
You see, you live in a properly hot country, so this may not be a problem to you. Here in the UK, the weather is generally cooler and in some places, Blackie and Gale are menaces.. Also the UK is a small country and it might not be so easy to reverse some changes. You even have hummingbirds to work as pollinators..
 
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Alp, as usual you are right--we may have a greater variety of pollinators than exist in other areas. We still take care to have plenty of flowers and native plants for both nectar/pollen and hosts.
Late afternoon is one of my favorite times of day--lots of butterflies and other insects, and our birds, coming in to feed before bedtime.
 
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alp

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Feed before bedtimes! How I envy you. I haven't seen one butterfly or bee today and I am in Essex, SE - a relatively warmer place in the UK. No wonder you have a pretty butterfly for your avatar!
 
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Since I've started native gardening (with a few non-natives) and I never use any type of X-icide, I have tons of insects (and other animals) living in my yard. I really do believe you have to grow some natives, which means allowing "weeds" to grow and when some of your favorite plants become victim to "pests" such as aphids, just let nature take its course and eventually those pests will attract the predators.

We can't just blame the large-scale farming operations; gardeners have some culpability here and of course if you're a lover of large amounts of "beautiful" green lawn, then you've created a desert, meaning: You've destroyed habitat for so many other living organisms.
 

MaryMary

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alp, here is a list of plants to look for, if you want to help!! (y)

https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/encourage-wildlife-to-your-garden/plants-for-pollinators

On that site, I found this:
Encourage bees by keeping honeybees yourself or allowing a beekeeper to place hives in your garden. Nest boxes containing cardboard tubes or hollow plant stems, or holes drilled in blocks of wood will provide nest sites for some species of solitary bees. Such nests are available from garden centres or you can make your own (holes/tubes should be in a mixture of sizes with a diameter of 2 – 8mm / (116 – 516 in)).
o_O Allowing a beekeeper to place hives in your garden...? That's pretty cool - renting beehives is big business over here. The almond farms in CA rent billions of bees every year - there just aren't enough to pollinate the crops. :(

“You can see the trucks coming from out of state. They come from as far as Florida, because it’s their bread and butter,” says beekeeper Rosemary Grissom.

In all, more than 1,500 beekeepers make the trip, and they bring billions of bees with them. When the almonds finish blooming, some of these beekeepers will take their hives on to pollinate other crops — cherries in Washington State, squash in Texas, cranberries in Wisconsin. https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-20/californias-almond-farmers-depend-beekeepers-and-billions-bees
 

JBtheExplorer

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We can't just blame the large-scale farming operations; gardeners have some culpability here and of course if you're a lover of large amounts of "beautiful" green lawn, then you've created a desert, meaning: You've destroyed habitat for so many other living organisms.

Farming is, by far, the largest cause of habitat loss, but I also agree that lawn is a disaster. It's as useless as pavement. A desert is an important habitat, lawn is just a wasteland. Our human culture of lawns has been a failure to this planet. The worst part is that some ordinances literally make it illegal to replace lawn with native habitat. It's ridiculous.

That's one reason I'm glad native Common Blue Violets grow in my yard. At least there is some value to wildlife, although not nearly as much as I'd like.
 

JBtheExplorer

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o_O Allowing a beekeeper to place hives in your garden...? That's pretty cool - renting beehives is big business over here. The almond farms in CA rent billions of bees every year - there just aren't enough to pollinate the crops. :(

Honey Bees are non-native here in the US, and sadly, often mislead people into thinking they're the specie that needs saving, which takes attention off of our native bees, who really need our help. Honey bees are commercially available and their only importance in the U.S. is to make honey. Saving native bee species is what matters. They have no help right now and numbers are dropping. Native North American bees pollinate far more than honey bees do.
 
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alp

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Sorry for the absence of news.. There are actually quite a few different sorts of bees, just as @Rajesh Sethi points out, there are bugs, and BUGS.. This man has his garden specially designed to cater for all sorts of bees hotels. He has the ground for bumble bees and some bees which build their nest several inches above the ground. Also, there are various different kinds of beneficial bugs such as hoverflies. My carrot flowers are on, but I haven't seen any hoverflies. Hopefully, when the sun comes out, they will be here. Last summer, they were buzzing drunk..
 

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Sorry for the absence of news.. There are actually quite a few different sorts of bees, just as @Rajesh Sethi points out, there are bugs, and BUGS.. This man has his garden specially designed to cater for all sorts of bees hotels. He has the ground for bumble bees and some bees which build their nest several inches above the ground. Also, there are various different kinds of beneficial bugs such as hoverflies. My carrot flowers are on, but I haven't seen any hoverflies. Hopefully, when the sun comes out, they will be here. Last summer, they were buzzing drunk..
@alp i grow a lot of single flowers, that's better for polinaters. Don't get a lot of butterflies, but get hoverflies and a lot of different bees.
 

alp

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Hoverflies are very good for gardens. Nick Bailey had a visit to a lab and he was explaining how important it was to have hoverflies around and he mentioned carrot flowers and ammi which I have. I still have one in sort of flowering .. I have kept it but sadly too cold for hoverflies. Bees love single flowers, especially blue or violet ones. Good that you have loads of single flowers.
 
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In my experience hoverflies generally like the smaller flowers, such as on the Alyssum, Poke weed and chickweed, but I've also seen them around other flowers like my Spiderwort, Blanket Flowers, Spanish needles.
 
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