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Gardendote of the Day 2013-06-20

This is a lo-res photograph of a bee pollinating a raspberry flower.


My great variety of flowers makes pollinators very happy, which is really the point of the photograph, I suppose.

Although what struck me while taking the photo is that I'm going to get a ton of raspberries this year, assuming the Japanese beetles don't devour them all; and every single one of those hundreds and hundreds of berries was pollinated by a bee, a wasp, or a butterfly (no hummingbirds yet). The beautiful complexity and emergent order of this little system I've created continues to amaze me. How would I or anyone have written a program to do that?

2013-06-20_garden_560.jpg165.37 KB
2013-06-20_garden.jpg165.37 KB
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Submitted by LD on

(Had trouble loading the Sage Bee picture, so tried to here:)

3-And this bee is pollinating the CA native Sage this last Spring, when there were hundreds of these and other species hanging around. Now, not as many, a normal Bay Area result of the water table receding in the Summer when rain season ends, and normal drought conditions kick in.

Wish I could get butterfly and hummingbird pics. The butterflies are skittish, moving in broad swathes from one property to the next (we're postage stamp size around these parts.) And the hummingbirds…well, jet rockets don't move at those Gs. (Or do they?)

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Submitted by lambert on

Inserting from comments seems to have gone pear-shaped since I updated all the modules. One more thing to look at.

In the meantime, I like the "water feature" and I believe it makes pollinators happy too since they can drink from it, but I worry that standing water breeds mosquitoes.

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Submitted by LD on

It does. This fountain has a water pump that's on all day, and so the water evap/escape (about 1/2 of total vol) needs to be replenished (w/hose seen in top picture) every other day or so. Both the moving-water and replenishment keeps the mosquito pop away.

There is another much, much smaller (1/2gal) bird-bath styled water bowl near the bird feeder. Whatever water remains there gets dumped into the surrounding flora on a daily basis, and then replenished anew. And so, there's no time for mosquitos to breed that way.

Plus, attracting birds keeps mosquito pop down too, hence the fennel surrounding the fountain. The birds use it as another extended perch point beyond the fountain rim. The area is quite the social gathering spot (when the dogs aren't incensed they've traversed their territory, and noisily chase them up onto the strings of backyard electric wires high above them!)

Submitted by lambert on

... is what birds are for. Or at least the right sort of bird. Any way to attract beneficial birds? Since apparently the mosquitoes themselves aren't doing it?

LD's picture
Submitted by LD on

Water. It's the only thing that I know that will attract birds, all kinds. It just has to be big enough for a flock to drink and bathe in. They'll start looking for food soon enough (your berries might be gone in a day though once they find it. :-( )