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Little Activity

Posted by jamesy40 z7a (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 5, 11 at 12:45

I don't know if it has been becuase of our very hot and dry summer, but I have not seen the activity this year as in past years. In fact, even the bees seem to be down. The one bright spot, however, has been the hummers. This has been a banner year for thm. James


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RE: Little Activity

Know exactly how you feel... there have been almost no leps here the past two years (esp this year), nor much of anything else for that matter. The hummers have been far a few between this year, and what there was were just the resident species with none of the 6-7 migrant species we normally see every year. Song birds, reptiles and almost all insects have been absent, and what was here was in very small numbers. It's been a very weird year weather wise here so nothing for them to nectar on or eat anyway. Honey bees have been declining for many years, and from what I've read are down as much as 70% now worldwide. With so many cash crops depending on them its no wonder food prices are up. I have a friend that's an apple/cherry farmer in the PNW that has almost no crop this year due to the cold spring and lack of pollenators. Anyway, the guesses are from spraying pesticides, toxins in genetically modified crops, radiation distortion from cell phones and global warming. Yeah right on the GW... our spring was bitter cold and ran months past normal, and our summer has been very mild this year for the desert. No doubt the world would be a better place without cell phones though, bees or not. ;) In reality they don't really know exactly why the bees are dying off, or how to fix it. We may be eating rock soup sooner than later though. LOL


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RE: Little Activity

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 5, 11 at 17:35

It was a slow summer for monarch butterflies here in Madison, compared to last summer. However, I have raised & released 8 healthy butterflies, with two to go. I have seen quite a few tiger swallowtails and black swallowtails in our yard. This year I saw more honeybees on our orange butterfly milkweed than ever before-I think someone has a nearby hive. We had a very good year for fireflies, and we have quite a few bumblebees, as well. The long, cool spring has slowed the garden-we did not get any ripe tomatoes until the end of August. The hubbard squash is nowhere near ready for harvest. Since we are located in the city, there are no nearby fields with bio-engineered crops that generate Bt toxin, and no orchards that have received multiple pesticide applications. There are many lawns treated with herbicide, but the bees very likely fly right over. Madison does not use herbicide in the city parks, to my knowledge. Last but not least, the Japanese beetles had a banner year...


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RE: Little Activity

I had a good Monarch year. They were around my yard in decent numbers from mid-July until later in August. I've got about 40 cats/chrysalids nearing time to eclose. Jut yesterday I found 10 early instar BST cats on my fennel. Hadn't seen any of them since June. I assume these will eclose next spring/summer. I hope next year is better where you are.

Martha


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RE: Little Activity

Eric, I hear you on those Japanese beetles. This year was the worst ever. They especially love the butterfly bushes. I can't imagine if I had more plants they REALLY loved.

Martha, congrats on the BSTs. I thought we were done with those up north but a female deposited more eggs around the garden yesterday! I saw 2 on the parsley and didn't check the other hosts. Those eggs are too hard to find. I will look for cats in a couple weeks. Tony


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RE: Little Activity

I think the heat and drought is taking a toll too.
How in the world are the Monarchs going to find enough nectar when they funnel through Texas? It's even drier there.


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