Bombus felinus

For full effect, please imagine this being read this in David Attenborough’s voice. Thank you for your consideration.

Today, I’m going to do a profile of a very rare and unusual bee:Β Bombus felinus,Β common name, the bumblecat.

Most of you who are familiar with bees and pollinators may have never heard of the elusive bumblecat, but a cursory search of the internet reveals hundreds of documented sitings by amateur entomologists.

Since there’s a dearth of scholarly research on the bumblecat, I’ve taken it upon myself to step in and provide some of my own experiences to fill in the gaps. The following is based on my own personal observations from a lifetime of studying them.

Let’s begin with the obvious question: Where does one find a bumblecat?

I’m glad you asked.Read More »

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Creating Bee and Bug Habitat

I’m not a bee and/or bug expert. But, I do have some pretty awesome habitat for bees and bugs, as evidenced by the sheer numbers and diversity of them in my yard.

This is a short guide to a few things you can do to make your yard more bug-friendly and a better home for all the little bugs we need. By extension, if your yard is bug-friendly, that will also make it a better place for birds too.

Most of the ideas below are from people more knowledgeable on the subject, and I’ve implemented them in my own garden to see the results for myself.Read More »

Pollinator Fast-Forward

This summer I’ve started doing timelapse videos of pollinators on some of my plants. Most people probably aren’t going to watch a two hour video of bugs and bees on flowers (but if you are one of those people, thumbs up), so timelapses are a cool way to quickly show the amount of pollinators visiting a plant.

Below are a couple of those videos from my YouTube page.

This first one is of my mountain mint. All the little orange things are soldier beetles. Then there are probably some bumblebees and wasps in this video too. This plant is pretty popular when it blooms.

 


This video is a bunch of bumblebees racing around a sunflower. It’s a new sport I invented called Bumblebee racing. Pretty exciting stuff πŸ™‚

 


This last one is from my rose milkweed. This plant gets a pretty wide assortment of pollinators in my garden. In this video, it’s mostly bumblebees, but normally there are monarchs visiting it, other bees, and also wasps, such as the great golden digger wasp and great black wasp.

 

What’s In My Garden?

There’s a lot of stuff in my garden and I’m adding more each year. This is a list of the native plants I know are in my garden. For most of these species, I usually have more than one plant. I try to avoid having just one of something, in case it gets eaten or the plant dies in a mysterious plane accident (which is still under investigation by the authorities).

I do believe in gardening for diversity. A wider range of plants should bring a wider range of bugs and birds to my yard. Also, by allowing these native plants to produce seed every year, there will be more genetic diversity in the plant populations that call my garden home.

All that being said, time to bring on the plants!

Read More »

The Buzzing of the Bees

There’s a sacred tradition that takes place every year in my garden. When the days have grown long enough. When dragonflies prowl the skies. When the tall grass sways in the warm summer breeze. Then it is time.

The Buzzing of the Bees.

 

 

In my garden, I have a large patch of a plant called partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata). It’s a native annual plant where I live. The last few years, I’ve planted a decent-sized area with partridge pea only. When it comes into bloom, all the bumblebees are magically drawn to it by some mysterious force.

The bumblebees buzz-pollinate it, meaning they essentially fly onto the flower, grab the stamens, then buzzzzzzzzzz. Their vibrating shakes the pollen out of the stamens. When there’s 20+ bumblebees buzz-pollinating like this, it’s a pretty awesome site. It’s better seen in person, but since you’re not me, these videos will have to do. If you live in the native range of partridge pea, I’d highly recommend planting a patch of it. So awesome waking up in the morning, going outside and finding these gals hard at work.

 

Undevelop the Land

Strip malls. Concrete. Parking lots with lots of parking.

 

undevelop the land

 

Endless lawns from sea to shining sea.

 

undevelop the land

 

Bird song drowned out by mowers. How wrong.Β 

 

undevelop the land

 

Fireflies extinguished. Nature diminished.

 

undevelop the land

 

You know, there used to be a field here. Maybe there could be again someday. . .Β 

 

undevelop the land

 

 

 

This was inspired by a local prairie area near where I live (pictured at the top). It apparently used to be a parking lot, and sometimes people would just dump garbage there.

Individuals worked with the city to turn it from that into a beautiful, productive prairie. I’m very grateful those people took the time and effort to create it. Returning the land to what it once may have been, and providing food, habitat, and shelter to all the organisms that keep the planet running for us.

What an idea, “undeveloping” land and returning it to nature.

 

What’s Going On???

Am I missing?

Have I been kidnapped?

Is Liam Neeson on his way to rescue me?

Why hasn’t this blog been updated since the middle of June?

The answer to the first two questions is definitely no. And probably the third question too, but I have no way of knowing Liam Neeson’s exact whereabouts or what he’s up to.

To any occasional visitors, sorry there hasn’t been much in the way of regular updates. It’s summer, so I’ve been enjoying time outside and in my garden. I do have some more things written that are mostly finished, so I’ll probably post those sometime soon.

I’m a bit more active on my Instagram, which is linked on the side or bottom of the page, or you can just click the link here to it.

As always, thanks for reading.

And say hello to any bugs in your garden for me. Don’t worry, they’ll know who I am.

Trust me! It won’t be weird. They’ll know who I am.

Just do it. Please?

Okay, thank you.

And tell them they still owe me five bucks.

For what? None of your business, that’s what. I’m just kidding, it was for a poker game.

How do bugs have money? Now you’re asking way too many questions.

Government Mandated Educational Content Label

Hey, everybody.

So, I got another letter from the government about my blog. Weird. Two letters from the government about my blog? You can read about the prior letter here.

Anyways, there are apparently new regulations for internet blogs requiring them to disclose their educational content.

As you can clearly tell from the now REQUIRED educational content label (talk about overregulation), my blog isn’t that bad for you. It’s certainly better than reading an issue of People magazine.

 

Screenshot 2019-06-14 at 6.37.43 PM

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I know this label may be a little different from what readers in other countries are used to. For our Australian readers, the “thoughts per serving'” is approximately equivalent to 3.27 kI (kiloideas) per serving.

Happy reading! πŸ˜€

 

 

What’s Up With My Garden?

At this crucial time in our country’s history, people nationwide are contemplating heady questions, such as, “Hey, what’s up with that weird guy’s garden?”

Good question.

I thought I’d post another garden update for anyone interested, which you clearly are if you’re reading this. Although, I should take that back because there’s always a possibility that someone is forcing you to read this, which is not cool.

Not cool.

Okay, now that we’ve established you’re reading this either because you want to or because someone has tied you up and is forcing you to read it under the threat of violence, let’s find out what’s up with my garden!Read More »