Daily Archives: February 17, 2012

Busy Bees and other Busy Bodies

Busy Bees and other Busy Bodies

We’ve had the good bugs. We’ve seen the bad bugs. Now let’s talk about the busy bugs. These are the working force bugs of the garden. Their jobs entail pollination, security, and master chef’s cooking up compost to feed the hungry veg.

The Pollinators

I guess the most common in domestic gardens would be bees. Pollination comes about when the pollen from the male anthers of a plant is transported to the female stigma of the plant. Unless you have loads of time and patience and a steady hand with a cotton swab, you’re going to want lots of bees to come and do this job for you.

The next more commonly known pollinator is the butterfly.I happen to be highly allergic to bee stings, so I live in fearful admiration of these little guys every year. I’m pretty careful about what and where I grab and wear my goat skin gloves even if I’m just moving things around. Until this year my husband has asked me not to plant things that would intentionally attract bees to the yard. Last summer he saw that I was careful, and that unless you inadvertently grab them or step on them, they just want to be left alone to do their business. So this year I am planting bee friendly plants, I have my epi-pen ready just in case. I’m sure it will all be just fine. Notice in this picture, the bee is completely covered in pollen, what a good job he is doing!

The next pollinator is the butterfly. There are a gazillion kinds of butterflies and they are always welcome in the garden. They are so pretty fluttering around. Unfortunately, they also come with baggage. Before they get to be the floating, fairy like creatures so dainty and beautiful, they start out as very hungry caterpillars. I take issue with Eric Carle though, the caterpillars in my garden never want one green leaf. The caterpillars in my garden want to eat…well, my garden! They get tossed into the neighbors yard (it’s fine, she doesn’t garden…sorry Gwen). After the transformation, they are welcome to return to the Gunz’ property.

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