Pollinator Talk on Bees at Saratoga Springs Community Garden

Sunday, June 2, 2019, Wesley Retirement Community.
Published at: https://butterflywomanpublishing.weebly.com/

Photo: Community Garden  Carpenter bee, common eastern bumblebee, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mason bee, Perdita bee, Squash bee, Susan Philbin, Tri- color bumblebee 

The Saratoga Springs Community Garden located on a 36-acre campus, hosted a bee themed party for gardeners. Mary Ellen Ryall, an environmental educator, spoke on the variety of bees that frequent the garden in Upstate New York. Susan Philbin, a garden organizer, and volunteer arranged the garden event.

The concern is that worldwide pollinating bees are disappearing for several reasons. As many of us know, pesticides kill pollinators. With growth and development, loss of the natural world, corporate farms, fresh water sources disappearing, woodlands being clearcut for building and construction, and overpopulation on top of everything else is having a damaging effect on pollinators. Ryall spoke about the benefit of a community that grows its local food. By using organic gardening methods and planting native flowers to attract pollinators, the Wesley Retirement Community can keep a sustainable landscape.

Ryall introduced the attendees to local bees. The tiniest bee in the world is the Perdita bee, also known as “lost one.” The Perdita is only 2-10 mm and can only fly a short distance. Usually, the Perdita makes its home in the garden soil around a plant it favors. One attendee thought the tiny bee was a sweat bee, but a sweat bee has a green head on a small body. To learn more about Perdita bees, visit Bug Guide at http://bugguide.net/node/view/52624

The bumblebee is one of the most common. Photo: Chi bees in Saratoga Springs, New York, but native bees are in decline. Two species of native bees imperiled on the Red List: Rusty patch bumble bee and the Yellow-banded bumble bee in New York. The Franklin bumble bee is already extinct. One of the prettiest bumbles is the tri-color bumble bee (Bombus ternarius). The photo shows the bumble obtaining nectar from a goldenrod plant. We should mourn when a species is lost, the way the world is going what species is next? It is imperative that we protect pollinators from all the dangers that are killing them. To learn more visit https://xerces.org/pollinator-redlist/.

Buzzing bumble bees are best at pollinating tomato, potato, and other plants in the nightshade family. The bee attaches its jaw to a flower and vibrates its wings to release pollen — source: The Washington Post, Bumblebee decline.

Did you know that flowers can sense buzzing bees? National Geographic came out with a story in 2019 by scientific researcher Lilach Hadany. A flower that hears a buzzing bee will increase its sugar from 12-17 percent to encourage the bumblebee to visit the flower. Learn more at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/01/flowers-can-hear-bees-and-make-their-nectar-sweeter/

The solitary Mason bee lives in tree holes. A perfect bee house is a bamboo stem. Photo: Mason bee house made from bamboo stems and an old hose. Another bamboo house is near the Wesley woodlands. We want to encourage bees at a distance to come and visit our gardens.

The native squash has its very own specialized bumblebee.

Keep your family healthy, plant an organic garden, and invite pollinators to be your friend. They perform a remarkable service and all for free.


				

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