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native/wild bees- and other good bugs

Hi all-

I thought I'd give you an update on my bees project.  Both types of bees
(mason and California) hatched and hung out in my garden.  A few even laid
eggs in the nest for next year.  Wish there were more, but considering they
were interrupted midstream by having my house painted, I'm happy any of them
found the nest.

Also, I have ALOT more wild bees this year.  I have a huge black bumble bee
who seems to have found a hole is an old log that he likes : )  I have
learned the bumblebees are used commercially to pollinate tomatoes.
Something about how they can vibrate their body.  Also, I have oodles of
little bees that have been filling the holes in another small bee block
(essentially a block of wood with smaller holes drilled in it).  They LOVE
the lavendar, sweet allysum, and especially the flowers on the cilantro that
went to seed.  I've never seen so many bugs on any plant before, several
varieties of bees, a wasp or two,and butterflys and other flying critters.
I'll make sure I let more go to seed in the future.  Finally, I have many
ladybugs this year.  I released some in early spring, and seems that many
decided to stick around.  They are in various locations, like in the
leaves/stems of jasmine twining up the back arbor, on the fennel, and other
I have had almost no aphids this year (they are gone within days after I
notice a few), and my white flies are gone since I first released them.

Oh- I also have a dragon fly who has adopted my back yard!  So, I feel like
I'm getting closer to some homeostasis in the bug world.  Amazing how many
more things live here since I stopped using chemical fertilizers!  I hadn't
used pesticides (except in one desperate case) in a couple of years, but
over the past 1- 1/2 years I also switched to using only organic
fertilizers, and that seems to have made a big difference.  Now if I only
could attract some toads and a snake or two!


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