Many gardeners know pollinators are healthy for their flowers but do you know what types of flowers you should plant for year round color in your garden?
Pollination is the act of transmitting pollen grains from the male part of a flower to the female part. Without this natural process 80% of food crops would not exist. Is your garden getting enough pollination?
4000 bee species are native to North America
Bumble Bees make up only 1% of the total species
Most species are solitary, which rarely sting (Leafcutter, Mason, Carpenter & Mining)
Pollen on some flowers (cranberry & blueberry) are contained within tubes and require beating of the wings at a high frequency to dislodge the individual pollen grains ('Buzz Pollination'). This can generate a force up to 30G, enough to cause severe injury in humans! Who knew?
Leaf Cutter Bees
Cut pieces of leaf to separate the larvae in the nest into individual 'spaces' (watching a bee cut a leaf precisely is a miraculous feat of nature)
Females make nests in pre-formed cavities such as wood or cracks in concrete
Each cell contains a pollen ball (pollen & nectar) the larvae feeds upon during development (Similar for all types of bees)
Courtesy of Helcat - Published on Jun 7, 2010
Use mud in the construction of pre-formed cavities such as cracks in walls and hollow plant stems especially
'Osmia' genus use a lemon scent to mark their nest entrances & can distinguish their own little home from one another
Orchard mason bee used as a commercial pollinator to increase the yield of Cherries & Blueberries
Courtesy of http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/mason-bees.html
Females make nests by boring into various forms of wood
Drill a nickel sized hole in the wood and then travel at a right angle following the grain of the wood
Females provide a pollen ball & then partition off each cell with a piece of sawdust
Courtesy of North Carolina: Museum of Natural Sciences
Published on May 17, 2011
So why do we really care about Solitary Bees?
These bees can increase the size & duration of your blooming flowers!
What kind of flowers can you plant to attract these pollinators year after year?
Various Tulip and Crocus bulbs planted in the fall will also provide an excellent splash of color in the Early Spring. Various species of Primulas, Bluebells, Spring Clematis, Hellebores, Rosemary are all great options depending on soil, moisture & light conditions. In the Summer, Mint & Thyme provide excellent ground cover but require full sunlight to thrive. Monarda (Bee Balm), Poppies, Sweet William, Foxgloves are all great flowers to attract passionate pollinators to your garden oasis.
In order to achieve a beautiful & lush garden, detail is a must. The right soil must be chosen carefully to provide the best initial growing conditions. As well, a daily watering regiment needs to be determined for your various plants. A natural fertilizer schedule needs to be applied.
Do not be alarmed, the 'Certified Master Gardeners' at Evergreen Lawn Services can simplify the long To-DO-List and provide you with the urban oasis you have been waiting for. All you need to do is watch the striking colors surprise you throughout the season. Your garden will surely be the talk of the neighborhood with all the diversity of buzzing bees. We take an individualistic approach to each of our clients needs and color arrangements.
We are now accepting new clients for Spring 2018. Please contact us early to get started on a plan to transform your yard. Evergreen Lawn Services can take on any scale project, big or small. References provided on request.