Honeybees, Bumblebees and birds


I ordered two packages of honeybees this morning for pickup at Betterbee on May 3rd, and I'll be ordering their hives soon too.

For the last few years, though, at least half of the bees that I've noticed in the yard have been bumblebees, floating along and pollenating all kinds of flowers. I think - though I'm not sure - that there are a few underground nests in the garden area, as well as something in the woods. Apparently bumblebees are good for pollenating inside of greenhouses, and especially used for tomatoes. (There's a whole site dedicated to bumblebees.) It sounds like nest boxes aren't really necessary, and often aren't used even when they're provided. Bumblebees do make honey, but not in the great quantities honeybees produce.

I'm very happy not to have found carpenter bees drilling into my house, except for a couple who decided to drill into the pressure-treated wood of my deck. I don't think they enjoyed it much, and they don't seem to have stayed.

I also added a suet feeder to my birdfeeder, hoping that'll bring out some woodpeckers. I have lots of them around, but the smaller ones are fun to watch on the feeder. I did see juncos and a cardinal out today too.

Birdfeeders seem like a classic case, though, where we supplement the natural environment to get a particular result for a little while, kind of like fertilizing plants. I'm hoping to build more bird habitat here to get beyond the artificial birdfeeding, though I definitely enjoy watching them in a concentrated space.

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This page contains a single entry by Simon St.Laurent published on January 15, 2008 7:59 PM.

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