24 May Pollinators in the Garden: Bees, Birds & Butterflies
I just finished teaching a weekend class on pollinators and gardening at the Folk School. My class was a great group of folks. We learned about seeding starting and growing native milkweeds for monarch eggs and caterpillars, planting flowers, native shrubs and trees for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, the challenges of neonicotinoids and herbicides. The weekend exhibited beautiful May weather! Enjoy our photo album:
John Clarke in the Folk School bee yard, showing the class the old bee hives, plus two brand new Russian bee colonies installed from the Beekeeping Class three weeks ago with Virginia Webb. Russian bees seem to be more varrora mite resistant than our beloved Italian honey bees.
The class at work on Pollinator Row, planting milkweed and dividing irises. We also dug up some lemon balm divisions. TIP: If you want to plant milkweed in your garden, don’t buy tropical milkweed, Asclepius curassavica.The University of Georgia is researching the non-native variety to see if the tropical variety is harmful to our mountain monarchs… it’s a hot debate right not, so best to stay away from that variety until we know it is safe.
No bees, no cherries. Mason bees and other native bees are super important pollinators.
Wildflower edges matter greatly to pollinators. Leaving unmowed areas for pollinator habitat and nectar plants helps the food chain of wildlife.
Day is done. Wild sumac are great pollinators and the fruit brews into a delicious pink lemonade type drink with a little honey from the bees and water.