Posts from the ‘Pollinators’ Category

Honey Bee Close Ups

I believe this bee may have stung Cashew only because my cats have been really curious about the insects flying around the patio and frequently swat at them.  Well about 2 days ago, Cashew exhibited the most bizarre behavior.  She started running back and forth as if she got stung for more than a minute.  I’ve never seen this behavior before.  Who knows what really happened to the bee, but it is possible that it’s the bee that may have stung Cashew.

Upright Deceased Honey Bee

Honey Bee Close up on Sunflower Leaf

The Hover Fly

Hoverfly 2

Hoverfly 1

Hoverfly 3

Hoverfly 4

Honey Bee Pollen Sacs

Honey Bee Pollen Sacs

Beehold the European Honey Bee!

European Honey Bee on the purple Anemone Flower

Honeybees are social insects that live in hives. Like all insects, bees have six legs, a three-part body, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, jointed legs, and a hard exoskeleton. The three body parts are the head, thorax, and abdomen (the tail end).

Bees can fly about 15 mph (24 kph). They eat nectar (a sweet liquid made by flowers) which they turn into honey. In the process of going from flower to flower to collect nectar, pollen from many plants gets stuck on the bee’s pollen baskets (hairs on the hind legs). Pollen is also rubbed off of flowers. This pollinates many flowers (fertilizing them and producing seeds).

All the members of the hive are related to each other. There are three types of honey bees:

  • the queen (who lays eggs)
  • workers – females who gather food, make honey, build the six-sided honeycomb, tend eggs, and guard the hive
  • drones – males who mate with the queen.

Bees undergo complete metamorphosis. The queen lays an egg in a cell in the wax comb (all the immature bees are called the brood). The egg hatches into a worm-like larva, which eventually pupates into an adult bee.

New Years Even Resolutions for the Garden

  1. Continue to spread awareness through California Native Garden Foundation as Board Member and Treasurer. (continuously drop it in my conversations when I meet new people)
  2. Start composting.    (started as of Jan 1st)
  3. Start growing vegetables on the roof.  More specifically tomatoes and cucumbers.
  4. Expand my California native plant collection so as to attract “native” beneficial insects.  One specific flower I plan to have is the California Poppy.  (purchased the CA Poppy seeds on January 10th)
  5. Fertilize my vanda orchid (weekly weakly).  I’ve been slacking off on this and haven’t been able to get my vanda to bloom since I purchased it in mid 2011.

*Updates in Green

Go native or go home!

Wow, I am so thrilled I was able to snap some pictures of these great beneficial insects on my roof/patio!  Here is an update to the labeling.  Three months after the original post, I have been able to identify the weird “native bee” as actually a Hover Fly.

The Garden of Good and Beetles

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A new habitation deep in downtown San Jose

About a year ago, I was fantasizing about my dream house.  I was pondering weather to move back down to Monterey and live in Carmel.  My dream house would be a tiny Hansel and Gretel cottage (preferably with all the candy bits) with a garden in the back twice or thrice the size of the main dwelling itself.  There I would come home from work and spend most of my free time tending to my lusciously green garden.

Alas, I’ve moved once again.  Most of you might be guessing I am some sort of gypsy lady, but I promise you I am nothing of the sort.  Life happens…  Break ups happen.  And now being on my own in my own studio apartment downtown I can focus on my real passion, which is the roof top gardening.  It’s funny where life takes you.  I had to find a new place to live quickly (and I think I found it within a week).  I had put the word out and whether you want to call it karma or kismet, my good friend Geraldine found me her next door unit.  It’s a tiny studio, however the “roof/deck” is perfect for my gardening.  I get tons of sun which is a great blessing.  I still have the same plants but added new loot to my collection from Lowes last night.

Here are a few pictures I snapped this morning.

Lady bug action

I was just watching a home video with Christian and got visited by a ladybug. So lucky to be attracting beneficial insects!

Lady Bug

Lady Bug

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