There are 50 species of bumblebees in North America, and most of us are familiar with at least a few of these (even if we didn’t know we were viewing different species). Bumblebees are big, bright, fuzzy and, dare I say, cute. They’re a wonderful part of Spring and Summer, yet most of us probably don’t give a thought to their many good deeds.
The Bombus impatiens (Common Eastern Bumblebee) is, as the common name implies, the bumblebee we most often see in our gardens. It is native from Ontario to Maine and south to Florida and has been introduced in California and British Columbia. They’re easy to recognize because of the pollen baskets found on the hind tibiae of the females. This “basket” is much larger than those found on the honeybee…
This was an excerpt. Click to read the entire article: March2014_Common Eastern BumbleBees
SAVE OUR BUMBLEBEES!
Here are some things you, as a gardener, can do:
1) Don’t spray or use neonicotinoids insecticides. If it is a “must,” read directions carefully and try not to use during the flower stage of plants.
2) Be careful using other insecticides (whether organic or not), and check the label – – anything affecting honeybees will also affect bumblebees.
3) Provide food and shelter for the bumblebees – – leave some areas of tall un-mowed grass and untilled sections of your yard or garden.
4) Plant flowers, trees and shrubs to provide constant sources of pollen and nectar.
- Spring – – plant Rhododendrons and Azaleas; Willows; Gooseberry
- Early Summer – – Clover
- Mid-Summer – – Anise Hyssop; Bee Balm
NOTE: It’s a busy tme for all! Jim has taken a break from writing so that he can devote his energies to his gardens, greenhouses, Master Gardener training and chickens. Since every article he’s written over the years is great, I would be remiss not to repost an oldie but goodie!
Click to read the entire article: March2014_Common Eastern BumbleBees
Author: Jim Revell, Bedford Extension Master Gardener
CLICK HERE to read more of Jim’s articles on our “Jim’s Bugs” page. Get to know your insect neighbors! As always, feel free to contact your local Extension Master Gardeners with questions or concerns you may have about insects in your area.