The Serviceberry: A Sign Post of Spring

Winter in the North is long and cold forcing the frost to penetrate deep, freezing the ground solid as a rock. The serviceberry, a small flower bearing tree, signals the ground has thawed, a sign post to people it was time to bury their loved ones that had died the previous winter. Funeral services commenced with springs advent and the tree was aptly named the … Continue reading The Serviceberry: A Sign Post of Spring

The Blooming of the Bloodroot

Early spring heralds the blooming of woodland flowers and the awakening of bees. Most native bees are solitary and overwinter either in cocoons or as dormant adults. Even some butterflies, such as the mourning cloak, overwinter as adults. The warm rays of the sun lull the bees from their slumber coaxing them to seek out sustenance from the emerging spring ephemerals that bloom on the … Continue reading The Blooming of the Bloodroot

Spring Flowers and Wild Bees of “Slabsides”

It is hard to imagine a more fitting place to explore and observe nature than at the woodland retreat of, American naturalist, John Burroughs.   Today’s outdoor enthusiast can follow in his footsteps and sit on the porch of his rustic home called, Slabsides situated on a rocky crag overlooking Celery Swamp.    This 200 acre oasis is located in the Black Creek watershed on … Continue reading Spring Flowers and Wild Bees of “Slabsides”

When is Native…Invasive?

The Cup Plant in the Adirondacks: In recent years, a new flower has appeared growing along the east branch of the Ausable River in the Adirondacks. It is a tall (8 to 10’) and beautiful member of the aster family and bees love it! The flower is known as Cup Plant or Indian Cup (Silphium perfoliatum) and is native to North America but not the … Continue reading When is Native…Invasive?

A Golf Course for Pollinators

Bethpage State Park: A Model for the Future Bethpage State Park, located on Long Island, is best known for its five world-class golf courses, including the world renowned Black Course which was the site of the U.S. Open Championship in 2002 and 2009. These 1,500 acres of open space is an island oasis surrounded by a densely populated suburban community. This landscape is an ideal … Continue reading A Golf Course for Pollinators

Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators

Do beavers play a role in providing habitat to native pollinators?  Today, pollinators benefit from roadside flowers, old farm meadows, hedgerows, forest edges and gardens, however, these are all by-products of modern human civilization.  What about prior to European colonization of North America when nearly 99% of New York and the Northeast was covered in forest.  Where in this dense forest did the 477 native … Continue reading Old Beaver Meadows and Wilderness Pollinators

The Spring Bees of Peach Hill

Spring is a marvelous time to explore an old apple orchard.  Walking under the white blossomed branches it is reassuring to know that the flowers are abuzz with busy pollinators, ensuring a bountiful fall harvest of sumptous red fruit.  Peach Hill Park is one such abandoned apple orchard in the Town of Poughkeepsie, containing 10,000 trees.  The park encompasses 159 acres and is also is … Continue reading The Spring Bees of Peach Hill

Time to Esteem our Native Pollen Bees

In any conversation about bees, inevitably the honeybee takes center stage. Why is that?  Are honeybees really more important than other bees?  Would our entire food supply be threatened if honeybees were to vanish?   Our native bees, sometimes described as pollen bees, are not only more efficient pollinators but have also developed techniques for pollinating flowers that honeybees are incapable of pollinating. Honeybees may be the … Continue reading Time to Esteem our Native Pollen Bees

Small Mining Bee’s Active in Early Spring

In January, we can only imagine springtime flowers as if they were a dream.  Yet, beneath the snow, snowdrops, a small perennial flower are waiting to emerge from their bulb at the slightest hint of spring warmth.  In late February and early March the snowdrops rise from the earth as the first flowers of the year! This small white flower is native to a large … Continue reading Small Mining Bee’s Active in Early Spring