Gathering nectar and pollen is hazardous work. Do you see the danger?
A few weeks ago, the wolfberry was in bloom and covered with insect visitors.
Today the Texas sage is blanketed with flowers.
The insects respond, too.
Surprise! It is a syrphid fly. It was more cooperative and sat still for its photograph.
All these insects are pollinators, which means they carry pollen from plant to plant and help many types of plants produce viable seeds. Some recent reports have shown that pollinators may need extra assistance in order to survive and thrive. Check out a recent article which suggests being messy in the garden is a good way to provide places for pollinators to shelter over winter.
Messy? That’s easy to do!
This morning when I dropped my son off for class, I noticed this small landscape shrub was flowering.
When I showed up 10 minutes early, this is what I found visiting this small plant:
I also saw a Polistes paper wasp.
So, let’s recap. In approximately 10 minutes I was able to find three species of butterflies, at least four different kinds of bees, and a wasp visiting this one small plant that barely came up past my knee. Not only was there a great diversity of insects, but also a good quantity of bees. There was a constant stream of insects visiting flowers all over the plant, not just one or two here and there.
Dalea sp. plants are listed as larval food plants for Reakirt’s blues and southern dogface butterflies, making them a fabulous choice for butterfly and pollinator gardens.
Sometimes, just planting the right plant can make all the difference if you want to attract wildlife.
Do Dalea sp. grow where you live? What kind and what do you see visiting them?