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Old 03-14-2018, 03:23 PM   #1
A Bee's Best Friend
Gloria's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default It takes more than flowers to build a bee habitat

The following link is to an article that should help us when thinking out a garden plan. It seems bees are affected by higher temperatures and urban gardens could have a less diverse number of bees as a result.

Cooling the garden by planting much of the ground with taller thicker plantings can help. Grasses and sedges can help. Edges of shrubbery and small trees can help. The more you are surrounded by concrete and asphalt the more this must be addressed. Open sunny areas where flowers bloom heavily need edges and spaces cooled by shade and taller greenery. The north side of a building might seem problematic but could grow sedges , and ferns and be of benefit to the cooling effect.

Many bees and wasps are ground nesting. Soils cooled with ample decomposing organic matter might be better for some species.

The more we know as the scientific community continues to study the world around us the better we may get at recreating a place in the garden where wildlife may thrive.

Your thoughts?


However, cities are also hot, due to impervious surfaces and the urban heat island effect. Wild bees differ in how well they tolerate high temperatures, so heat-sensitive species like Agapostemon virescens and Megachile mendica are less abundant in hot urban sites.

So, can planting flowers compensate for the negative effects of urban heat? We studied wild bees in 18 urban yards and parks throughout Raleigh, NC, that had different temperatures, area of impervious surface cover, and density and diversity of flowers. In a new paper by April Hamblin and Elsa Youngsteadt, we describe how, at the hottest sites, bee abundance declined regardless of flower abundance or diversity.

The good news? Our research confirms that if you plant flowers – if you build it – bees will come. Bee abundance and diversity increased with flower abundance even though temperature and impervious surface mitigated the number and types of bees. Thus, in addition to planting flowers, try to reduce the amount of heat and impervious surface around your yard or park. Of course you can’t tear up sidewalks and roads (please don’t) but planting trees to shade those surfaces will help cool things down. There’s more to building bee habitat than planting flowers.
Read the full paper:
Hamblin, A.L.†, Youngsteadt, E., Frank, S.D. (2018) Wild bee abundance declines with urban warming, regardless of floral density. Urban Ecosystems,

pdf file of full article shared by author.

"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

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Old 03-16-2018, 02:00 AM   #2
KC Clark's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Central Ohio

I've had one underground bumblebee nest in my current yard. OTOH, I seem to get at least one underground paper wasp or yellow jacket nest every year. I much prefer the bumblebees since they are less aggressive.

The bees were under my concrete porch. The wasps/jackets are either in my lawn or ground cover. I believe they use tunnels/nests left behind by chipmunks. I've never had them in mulch areas or my compost piles.

The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.

George Carlin
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:51 PM   #3
Curious George & UAOKA recipient
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

Very cool bee house! Someone put it up by the pollinator garden on the Hillsborough River Walk, maybe ten miles from me. I want one!

It takes more than flowers to build a bee habitat-454d085a-5d3c-42d1-93b0-934d36f9e5db.jpg

It takes more than flowers to build a bee habitat-6558fda3-56c5-4d7b-9e08-eae7ce0fb5aa.jpg
There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, this is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar. - Lord Byron

Turttle's pollinator garden
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bee, build, flowers, habitat, takes

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