A Highway “Beescape”

A Small Wonder at a Busy Intersection Wedged between Manchester Road and a busy intersection on Route 55 and Burnett Boulevard in the Town of Poughkeepsie lies a hidden island of wildflowers and a thriving population of pollinators.  A sign marks the spot as “Project Wildflower”, NYSDOT, possibly alerting roadside mowers that this is an area not to be mowed.  What an ingenious idea!  To … Continue reading A Highway “Beescape”

Cellophane Bees at Work!

Cellophane bees like 70% of solitary bees nest underground and often receive a bum rap due to confusion with ground nesting yellow jackets.  Yellow jackets are not bees but wasps and like most wasps are predators preying on insects.  In addition, yellow jackets are social insects (like honeybees and bumble bees) living in hive and are on high alert to serve and protect the single … Continue reading Cellophane Bees at Work!

In Search of Blue Pollen

The subtle pink of the wild geranium is popular with spring time bees and its blossoming coincides with the developing leaf canopy that will shade the forest floor.  Take a moment to enjoy this woodland flower and note the nectar guides that lure the bee to its sweet reward, a nice exchange for pollination services rendered.  Observe the stamens where the pollen is located and … Continue reading In Search of Blue Pollen

The Bees at Blueberry Pond

The Hudson Highlands abound with vernal pools, making the perfect breeding ground for a variety of salamanders and frogs.  Coincidentally they make a perfect habitat for wild blueberries and their associated pollinators.   For a few years now I have known of one “Blueberry Pond” surrounded with bushes taller than a person can reach and sporting thousands of tiny white bell shaped flowers each spring. … Continue reading The Bees at Blueberry Pond

Fields of Trout-Lily

Trout-lily are a true spring ephemeral with thier leaves dying back shortly after the forest canopy is leafed out.  This monocot belongs to the genus Erythronium and as its common name implies is a member of the lily family.  John Burroughs, American naturalist, offered the name fawn-lily or trout-lily as an alternative to to the less attractive name of adder’s tongue, feeling the flower was … Continue reading Fields of Trout-Lily

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