01 July 2022

Dusty Miller & Bee Nests

 

1 July 2022, Dusty Miller

In July 2015, while sitting on the deck enjoying the outdoors, I happen to see a bee with a tiny ball of fuzz in its mouth. Ah ha! The reason is revealed that Dusty Miller is losing the white fuzz/tomentum on its leaves because bees harvest the tomentum to line their nests! (blog post, 15 July 2015)

Since then, I have noticed a decrease in the harvesting of tomentum, (for the years I planted Dusty Miller). Bee sightings have also decreased along with fewer Monarch Butterflies. 
This year I am hopeful with more flowers around, the garden residents will increase. Fireflies appear to be doing well, but not in great numbers.

A Summer garden needs its magical creatures. 

How is your garden doing so far?

20 comments:

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I walked a forest path yesterday and there were bees on the flowers and butterflies flitting around everywhere. It feels like being in a magic forest! Enjoy your day!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Diane,
Next time you see the bees, please let them know we have room in Vermont.:)

Haddock said...

Never knew about the bees harvesting the tomentun to line their nests! Learned something new.

Debra said...

I have been planting things for the bees and butterflies-we have lots of plants they like. I worry about those critters. We are very dry here. I have to water the gardens everyday.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Haddock,
It is good to learn about nature.

Debra,
Despite some rain, this year plants appear awfully thirsty too often.

Debbie Nolan said...

Yes Maywyn our gardens certainly need these vital insects. Generally in August we see Monarchs...hope so. We have a few bees but not like we used to have. Hope you have a good Fourth of July. Hugs!

Marie Smith said...

We just planted the veggies this week! They are growing well!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Happy 4th of July, Debbie

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Marie,
Happy Gardening!
Fresh produce is a highlight if Summer.

Jeanie said...

I"ve always loved Dusty Miller but I never thought about it in regard to bees! Learn something new every day!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

We need the bees and must do all we can to encourage them. We noticed an extreme drop off in the number of monarchs here, primarily (I think) because the powers that be decreed that milkweed was a noxious weed and thus to be destroyed at all costs. Of course there was a great deal of surprise when it was discovered that the monarch numbers were dwindling alarmingly (funny how that happens when you destroy their entire source of food). Now milkweed is welcome again.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Jeanie,
It's funny to me that a bee taught me the importance of Dusty Miller.

Maryanne,
I am glad milkweed is welcome again. Seeing it grow is a smile maker.

Tabor said...

There has been a large increase in Monarchs, so I think whatever we are doing to help is working for many pollinators. Planting natives is the best way.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Tabor,
Seeing the milkweed Monarchs love is a highlight of summer. In open meadows nearby, milkweed and wildflowers lost ground to housing. I suspect that is why I see so few Monarchs. Once new sources are found, I hope they increase.

Lorrie said...

My garden is shivering in the cold, and not wanting to grow as quickly. But it is still beautiful, although the vegetable yield will be much smaller this year. I did see a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly the other day and loved watching it flit about my garden. The roses are beautiful and tall.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Lorrie,
Chill and heat seem to be a summer theme this year. Swallowtail butterflies are fun to see. They are less frequent than the Monarch sightings around here.

Becki said...

I'm amazed you have pansies in July. I assume it's hot as blazes everywhere, but of course that's a silly thought. The heat seems to be mostly good for the garden - as long as we remember to water it. :)

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Becki,
Despite the heat, pansies bloom here all summer. When they get leggy, I cut them back for fall blooming. Violas also bloom all summer, showing up in the lawn and walkway cracks. It is time to add in a petunia next to the pansies.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Just an additional side note re milkweed - have you ever smelled their flowers? If not, do so - it's worth it!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Maryanne,
Milkweed flowers do smell beautiful. They are also edible. I haven't tried them though.