Thursday, July 4, 2013

Citizen Science Survey Number 2

 Yesterday was a good day for a bee survey, so I monitored the plants at Mount Pleasant Community Garden to see what was attracting the bees. These onions are just starting to bloom and the bumble bees and honey bees love them.

I thought this was a sleepy bee, but now that I've zoomed in, I see it's a very thirsty syrphid fly, drinking deeply from a brassica flower. This is odd since it's often hard to take photos of syrphids because they hover and dart about so quickly.

 The big eyes and the patch of amber tell me she's a bee mimic.

One of the plants I monitored was this Ammi visnaga. Only two heads were in bloom, but there was a variety of bees feeding on it, which you can see here: a honeybee and a couple of  sweat bees. Ammi visnaga, aka khella or khellin is a medicinal plant grown in Morocco for the treatment of asthma. It has also traditionally bee used to lower blood pressure and research is being done on its antimicrobial properties. It has photosensitive properties, so it wouldn't be good to take on these hot sunny days. It also contains camphor and linalool, so the I imagine the oil made from the seeds has a somewhat camphorous scent.

There was also buckwheat  and cilantro blooming near this flower, which were also bringing the bees to this sunny spot in the garden.

 The lovage is starting to go to seed, but it is still a major attraction for many insects.

The cilantro will go to seed and then you can save it for next year--share seeds with your friends!

 My poppies and wheat are standing proud.

 This is one of the zinnias we planted for the hummingbirds.

These campanula in the city planting do attract honey bees and bumble bees and I did see some smaller bees checking them out.

Here are my notes from the bee count:
Pollinator Citizen Science Data Sheet Environmental Youth Alliance 2013

Name: Lori Weidenhammer Date: Wed., July 3 Time of Day: 3:45 pm

Location: Mount Pleasant Park and Community Garden
Temp: 25 C Weather: W1 Cloud Cover: 4 Rain: 0

Plant 1: Broccoli (4 broccoli plants in a garden bed)

Bumblebees: 2
Hairy Belly Bees: 0
Sweat/Mining Bees: 11
Honeybees: 2
Flies: 1 (syrphid)

Notes: 1 wasp hovering

Plant 2: Lovage: Levisticum officinale
Bumblebees: 2
Hairy Belly Bees: 0
Sweat/mining bees: 18
Honeybees: 4
Flies: 1
Other: 1 Ladybug

Plant 3: Ammi Visnaga (only 2 flower heads in bloom)

Bumblebees: 0
Hairy Belly Bees: 0
Sweat/Mining Bees: 3
Honeybees: 1
Other: 1 ladybug

Notes: Bald faced wasp hovering. This plant was near buckwheat and cilantro blossoms which were also attracting bees.

Additional Notes:

In the Community Garden:

Bumble bees in some pea flowers. Alliums are popular with honey bees and bumble bees. There are many corn poppies in bloom, but not much activity in them. Lots of nasturtiums all over the gardens, but they weren't being visited. Sunflowers are blooming, but not yet attracting many bees that I saw.

The journey to the site: Some spirea plantings with bumble bees. Lavender and oregano opening up. Some later blooming white syringas are opening, along with lacy blue hydrangeas. Coreopsis is blooming in roundabouts.

City Plantings in the park:
Yellow yarrow: no bees
Perennial Salvia (something like Purple Rain or Mainacht) just finishing blooming and is still visited by bees.
There is a nice grouping of the long campanula, which is a good bee plant.
Curry Plant: no action

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