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Old 10-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens - Pollinators and the garden in winter

Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens - Pollinators and the garden in winter
November 7, 2011

11-07-2011 - Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens - Pollinators and the garden in winter
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Do you ask yourself: where do pollinators go in winter? We see them through the warm seasons visiting flowers and doing their invaluable job. But, then what happens to them? Putting aside the few, such as hummingbirds and monarch butterflies, which fly to better climates, all the others find a secluded place to spend the cold months. Like hibernating bears, many fatten themselves by stocking up on supplies and then go to sleep. Others rest as eggs or in an immature state such as a larva or pupa. Either way, they need a sheltered space safe from predators, parasites and excessive cold.

I know that some gardeners, with the best of intentions, destroy these vital shelters. It may be a good idea to take a look at all the places used by pollinators during the winter. This is one case in which a little untidiness may be a good thing.

Most bees are ground nesters; this means that they build their nests in the ground, preferably a bare spot dry and sunny and not subject to flooding. Sometimes there is a patch large enough for a whole town of nests; other times, just a few square inches of soil free from vegetation fill the needs of one enterprising bee raising a family. The mother bee dies at the end of the season, her mission accomplished. Her babies will
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