Where are Crickets Butterflies and Bumblebees

yugoslavaAugust 19, 2013

I haven't heard a cricket yet this month. My butterfly bush has no butterflies and I've seen a few bumblebees. I'm not far from lake Ontario and in August monarchs gather on the shore to feed and rest. It's truly breathtaking sight. I can't see any now. It disturbs me to know we have contributed to their disappearance. I won't even mention bees. I am sure other gardeners have observed this change.

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ianna(Z5b)

I have lots of bumblebees, some crickets but hardly any butterflies. I don't know whether the weather patterns have affected these butterflies. There'd been lots of storms in the US which would affect migration routes. Not to mention pesticides that are used in farms and gardens.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 11:19AM
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yugoslava

A neighbor told me she couldn't find honey and at the store she found there's a shortage of honey. Apparently in Ontario some people have resorted to stealing beehives. I used to have a lot of bumblebeese, not so much this year. Since I noticed these changes I've become quite alarmed by what's missing. The garden doesn't seem right. No buzzing sounds, or insects in the flowers

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 2:49PM
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ianna(Z5b)

I haven't encountered the honey supply depletion that you have noticed. however I'm not a big honey user. Many buildings in Toronto maintain hives on their roof tops btw. maybe the bees are tehre and not circulating elsewhere. Many building have roof top gardens as well. BTW - honey bees are different from bumble bees. Like I said, I have lots of bumble bees in my garden. What I didn't see are wasps which are usually plentiful. Weird.

Ianna

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 1:38PM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

I am in Ottawa and have seen quite a few bumblebees and wasps. I haven't seen any butterflies (not one this season) and have seen no more than 10 honeybees. Seven years ago I planted Agastache and almost pulled it because there were so many honeybees that I thought my kids and pets would get stung too often. They didn't sting and so the plants stayed - just not at many visitors.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:25PM
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ptwonline

This is my first year with flowers in my garden (as opposed to just grass) so I can't gauge any change for you. I'm in Toronto and so butterflies and bees tend to be limited anyway. I've seen a total of 2 monarch butterflies this year happily feeding on my butterfly bush, and at any one time I can see a half dozen or so bees of varying sizes and species buzzing around my plants.

Apparently the changing climate and habitat loss has devastated the Monarch butterfly populations, and people everywhere are seeing fewer of them.

Bee populations worldwide are collapsing as well and it looks like it's a variety of pesticides that were allegedly safe for bees but in fact were killing them off.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 6:33PM
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yugoslava

Not many wasps either. I have a small wasp nest inside an empty clay pot. Unlike other years, it's very small and since I noticed it, it hasn't grown. I used to see wasp nests in various places in the garden. Hanging off eaves or tree branches and they were big. Not this summer.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:43AM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Man's greatest achievement in the 21st century- eradicating the butterfly.
Obviously I'm being sarcastic, but it does seem to me that if we can send man to the moon, we can figure out the importance of other life forms and do our jobs to protect them.
If you use sprays, insecticides and herbicides in your gardens, then you are part of the problem.
If there are no holes in the leaves of your plants where insects have been feasting, then you are part of the problem.
If you are growing lots of herbs and vegetables and flowers that bloom in different colours at different times during the season, then you are part of the solution. Plant old-fashioned cultivars and indulge yourself in scented plants. Do not be too tidy in the garden - butterflies like things a little messy. They like dirt and they like a bit of water. Leave the milkweeds to grow.
Hope this did not come across as a lecture. And I hope that other gardeners better informed than I am will continue adding butterfly and insect friendly tips.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 1:41PM
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yugoslava

Thanks ninamarie. I wrote this post because others were wondering where are all these insects. I have had lot of insects in the garden over the years but this year there is a noticable absence of beese, bumblebees and butterflies. I don't use any harmful sprays in the garden myself. It has been written and talked about bees dying in large numbers for at least ten years if not longer.However, in the spring of this year there were hardly any insects in my garden unlike previous years,.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 3:50AM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

We have 36 acres and have used no pesticides or herbicides in 15 years. The insect and butterfly life was amazing.
But in the past few years, I have noticed a large drop in the number of birds and this year, in the number of insect species. Bees were plentiful in spring, but we have seen no monarch butterflies, no lady bugs, etc. Aphids have never been a problem here, nor have any other insects ever devastated the plants we grow - and we grow a lot of plants. But this year, we have been overrun by aphids. Their predators are missing in action.
However, maybe because of the addition of a pond, or the wet season, we have had lots of frogs. Fewer turtles than usual, though.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 9:39AM
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smivies

Lots here in downtown Kingston, Ontario

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 4:14PM
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yugoslava

I don't know how I missed ladybugs but there aren't any in my garden. I can't believe I missed that. So I'm missing most important insects. I noticed cutter bees this month. It isn't only my garden, my neighbors are also expressing concern. The absence of these insects is quite noticable. There are some birds, purple finches, lots of sparrows, some cardinals and some little birds coming from the north. Lots of robins in the spring. Not many starlings and a few crows. In general, there is a lot less wild life in evidence compared to other years. Does living in the city contribute to loss of this kind?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 4:25PM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

No, I think it is habitat destruction and overuse of chemicals.
On the plus side, I don't think I've ever seen so many hummingbirds. They're all getting testy, fighting with each other and taking on larger birds that visit the feeders. Too funny.
They usually disappear sometime around Labour Day, but perhaps they'll hang around a bit this year.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 4:25PM
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marricgardens

My garden was designed to attract bees, butterflies and birds. This year we had lots of bumble bees and honey bees, no butterflies and lots of different birds. Unfortunately we also have loads of crickets and earwigs. Anybody want them? LOL. A few nights ago I watched a cricket hopping across the patio and a starling swooped down and ate it. We also have lots of frogs despite the fact that we have no water feature here except for a drainage ditch.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 12:48PM
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ianna(Z5b)

I understand from several articles on the disappearances of butterflies that a combination of summer storms, and the wide use of pesticides in the south has greatly affected the butterfly population this year. As for bees, too many are in my yard. Thereès also too many crickets this year. And speaking about weather pattern.. Ièm so sad that a lovely royal purple smoke tree that I have had for many years have been infected by a soil born virus or fungus . Itès not curable and I had to take the tree down. Just another effect of these summer storms.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2013 at 11:49PM
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swontgirl_z5a(5a)

We too have missed the monarchs this year. We have a farm and always have lots of milkweed in our fence rows. I usually see many that have been hit on the road when I go to get my mail but many live ones too. Not one this year. We have lots of birds, especially hummers and gold finches. Many toads this summer and of course so many slugs! We have heard the crickets and frogs singing as usual. I have heard of the bee losses but we don't usually see too many. I guess I just don't really notice them and if I do I try to stay away from them!
Unfortunately many cash crop farmers and others too have cleared their fence rows to make bigger fields. There are still lots of naturalized areas around for butterflies to come but they just don't seem to have ever arrived.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:51AM
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green_go

We had lots of bumblebees this year. I mean LOTS.
I have around 30 mature plants of nepeta edging
my flower beds (catmint) which bloom for months and bumblebees just love this plant,
they are coming in hundreds, as well as regular bees.
Hummingbirds seem to love this plant too.

This post was edited by green_go on Mon, Sep 16, 13 at 12:07

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:54AM
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green_go

As to butterflies, there are fewer than last year,
but I attribute that to the fact that we had a very mild winter last year and many butterflies
which normally die, survived.
But this year, we had a normal cold winter, so not as many butterflies as last year.
But I still had plenty in my butterfly garden, as well as hummingbird moths:


    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 11:58AM
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ninamarie(4Ont.)

Green-go, your pictures are gorgeous. Thirty nepetas must be bee world. Stunning garden.
I saw lots of swallowtail butterflies in spring, but have seen only one monarch.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:28PM
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yugoslava

I started asking about all the missing insects and now on September 24 after reading so many comments I can say there was a monarch butterfly in my garden 2 days ago. Only one that I've seen this summer. I'll plant nepeta next spring. Lots of beautiful blue in the garden in these pictures. About having untidy garden. My neighbors for the most part believe in having everything trimmed to death and absolutely nothing out of place. I get to hear a lot of comments. It is not possible to explain to some of them the benefit of having a pile of leaves or dirt. It is as if we speak different language.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 1:10AM
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green_go

yugoslava, all you need is to buy is one plant of nepeta ('Walker's Low' catmint seems to be the best bloomer ), then rip it apart into pieces. Never mind if the price has no roots -" it will grow.
Then plant each piece in a pot with soil, water and leave it somewhere for a few weeks. I usually put mine under the cold frame, because I am too lazy to water them, but I think, you can leave pots anywhere as long the soil is kept moist. They will root in 2-3 weeks (you will see white roots poking through the drainage holes) and they grow fast. You can take cuttings any time: from spring till fall, even from the blooming plants (just snip off the top part with flowers).ThatâÂÂs how all mine nepetas were created -from a single plant I bought last year.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 8:56PM
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