Pollinators on Parade

Submitted June 23, 2014 at 12:42 PM

In honor of National Pollinators Week and the wonderful buzzing buddies that keep flowering plants in business, this weeks blog will show off some of the pollinators and other insects we have in the Garden. Come tour the garden and enjoy the show as the air around many of our plants comes alive with butterflies, bees and more!

Hunt's Bumble Bee on Ice Plant  Bombus huntii / Delosperma cooperi 

This pleasantly plump native bumble bee is hard at work collecting pollen outside of the Children's Garden.

Monarch Butterfly on Red Valerian   Danaus plexippus / Centranthus ruber 'Roseus'

The iconic Monarch butterflies are considered endangered as their migration route becomes more fractured and perilous and their food of choice, the milkweed, becomes more scarce.

Hover Fly on Fernbush  Toxomerus sp. / Chamaebatiaria millefolium 

This bee or wasp mimic eats aphids when in larval form and drinks flower nectar as adults.

Honey Bee buzzes a Peony   Apis sp. / Paeonia sp.  

Honey bees are not native to North America, but they are a wonderfully sweet addition to our state.

Bald-Faced Hornet on Lovage   Dolichovespula sp. / Levisticum officinale 

A less sweet addition is this paper wasp which sometimes includes bees in its diet of spiders, house flies, larvae, beetles and other wasps.

A butterfly enjoys a break on the leaves of Eastern Blue Star Amsonia tabernaemontana

There is a wonderful variety of butterflies to see as they flutter throughout the garden.

Bumble Bee on Wavyleaf Thistle  Bombus sp. / Cirsium undulatum 

A gorgeous view of the valley and an airshow of furry bees awaits those who hike in the Natural Area.

The importance of pollinators, and their decline, has become a more common topic in the news and people's minds. The Garden has a great many ideas for plants that attract pollinators, especially the beautiful Butterfly walk in the Children's Garden. Take some time to bask in the show of pollinators throughout the Garden today!

Photos by Sarah Sandoval and Kathy Ariss

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