Diverse pollinators

My past two observations have introduced me to a variety of pollinators and a few predators. It’s fun to get beyond the many tiny (albeit important) syrphid flies and see diversity in pollinators. It made sitting in compost worth it!

At a glance, the Salvia – especially ‘White swan’ and ‘Coral nymph’ – are pretty popular. However, sunflowers ‘Lemon Queen’ and ‘Ring of fire’, while late bloomers, are attractive to the larger pollinators like bumblebees and honey bees during peak bloom time. As their flowers degrade, they are not as attractive it seems. Our single Rudbeckia, ‘Orange fudge’ is coming into its own with more flowers and really attracting the sweat bees and solider beetles.

Butterflies and moths are somewhat scarce with some fiery skipper activity and now dun skippers (two) today. Cabbage white moths were mating today on the zinnia – not sure how good that is, but a good picture:

Probably most impressive was the obvious queen bumble that did all she could to pose for me while dining on the Salvia ‘Coral Nymph’. She had to be the size of a half dollar!20160812_103327

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About Julie Weisenhorn

U of MN Extension Horticulturist; Minnesota gardener; photographer; Linnaeus admirer.
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3 Responses to Diverse pollinators

  1. ahoaglund says:

    Wonderful bumble bee on the salvia!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Catherine says:

    Is anyone else finding that bees don’t like zinnias? Many plants in my yard have been alive with bees all summer, and they’ve shown pretty much no interest in the zinnias at all.

    Like

  3. Interesting Catherine! I have found pollinators – bumble bees especially – on the three larger Zinnias here on campus. They have not been interested in the Zinnia ‘Red Spider’. however.

    Like

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