The Industrious Carpenter Bee

The fortunate female carpenter bee reuses the maternal nesting chamber and often shares the same hole with her sisters to create tunnels within tunnels. Others set out on their own seeking soft dry wood to begin their life’s work. One late May day, while sitting on my porch, I observed as one such bee set to work marking out a spot. Using her power mandibles … Continue reading The Industrious Carpenter Bee

The Perfect Lawn for Pollinators

The perfect lawn is the imperfect lawn.  The perfect lawn is rugged and natural in appearance and to the untrained eye, aka the average homeowner, would be condemned as the eyesore of the neighborhood. It is a lawn that defies cultural norms but can be aesthetically pleasing.  It has wild edges where shrubs and wildflowers seduce pollinators with sweet smells and bright colors. Unkempt corners, … Continue reading The Perfect Lawn for Pollinators

Bees Help Strawberries Reach Their Potential

Nothing says summer like the first juicy sweet strawberry of the season.   Strawberries self pollinate and are not dependent on pollinators for fertilization. BUT early summer pollinators, most notably bees ensure the berry will attain perfection. The fruit of insect pollinated flowers are not only larger and have less deformities but also firmer, with a shelf life lasting an additional 12 hours. These few … Continue reading Bees Help Strawberries Reach Their Potential

Spotlight on Dufourea novaeangliae, the Pickerel Bee

On a recent canoe trip to the Adirondacks, a steady rain had passed over and the sun peeked through the clouds illuminating the aquatic vegetation. I took a moment to see if any pollinators were visiting the white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) and after seeing no activity I wondered who the might pollinate such an ornate flower. Though bees may visit them, beetles are the … Continue reading Spotlight on Dufourea novaeangliae, the Pickerel Bee

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”

Bumble Bees Suffer from Climate Change

It is December 24th and I am listening to spring peepers chirp on this extremely mild and wet day in the Hudson Valley! I am not sure if this is the earliest I’ve ever heard them or the latest, regardless I’m sure it is a rare event for the phenological records of the region. According to the calendar, winter is here but no significant cold … Continue reading Bumble Bees Suffer from Climate Change

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

Fields of Lupine

A field of blue lupine in full bloom is a sight to behold!  The Albany Pine Bush in the shadow of Albany, New York’s Capital City, is a unique pitch pine ecosystem where the blue lupine thrives in the sandy soils and open meadows of the preserve.  This fire adapted ecosystem thrives on disturbance that keeps this forest in early successional stages. The blue lupine … Continue reading Fields of Lupine