Friday, May 23, 2008

Bird & Bee

I like bees. We do have a variety of bees around here. I think this one is a carpenter bee. Funny thing, I was googling carpenter bee and almost every site that came up had to do with getting rid of them. Pretty much everything I skimmed over said to use pesticides. I don't want to get rid of my bees. I just wanted some information. What I found out is that carpenter bees, as I would have guessed, excavate hollows in wood to nest. They do not consume the wood. Carpenter bees feed on pollen and nectar, as evidenced in the photos below. They are important pollinators. Here are two photos of a bee enjoying my strawberry patch. We've got a bumper crop of strawberry flowers this year. I can hardly wait for those berries. It won't be long now.

People, please don't use pesticides indiscriminately. We need our bees. They pollinate our food crops. It would be hard for us to eat without them.

We can also thank our hummingbird friends for pollinating things. Like the bee, they feed on nectar too. They also eat many insects. I don't think I'd ever get tired of watching these tiny, amazing birds hover around the garden sticking their needle shaped bills into flowers. These tiny guys are only about 3 inches tall and about 3 grams in weight. They consume twice their body weight each day. It takes a lot of energy to buzz around the garden like that. During one of those rainy days this week, I got some video of a hummer taking a rest on the garden fence. It was raining, but it didn't seem to bother her.

Press the arrow icon in the image below to start the video.


Marcia said...

Great pictures and video! Thanks for sharing. I've only seen one hummer over here. I'm sure more are on the way!

Chuck & Shirley Bartok said...

What a delightful Blog Jen,

Thank you for your friendship. I see much gardening and Nature sharing in the future.

Bees are very important to our neighborhood. And our hives are diminishing rapidly.

That is bad for the Almond crops, which are one of our County's Main Ag Income source

grovespirit said...

Hi Jen,

Lovely hummingbird video!

And the music suits it perfectly. :)

Do you compose and play the tunes for your videos?

I like carpenter bees too! I haven't seen a regular honeybee in any of my gardens since 2003.
The diminishing honeybee population is something I personally have been affected by.

In coastal CA, there was a honeybee shortage, and carpenter bees were my main pollinator. They had a nest in an old tree stump near me. :)

Here in the urbanized tropics, where most of my neighbors use pesticides, my main pollinator seems to be me! Folks here use a lot of pesticides to control termites, and fleas, which can easily get out of hand in frost-free areas. :(

So I have to hand-pollinate my veggies, which works out OK since my garden is only a 10x10 patio.
If I had to do it for 1/4 acre or more it would be a LOT of work!

Regards, grovespirit from T-ville. :)