Butterflies at Work!

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Compared to a bee, a butterfly’s proboscis and legs are longer and farther away from a flower’s pollen; less pollen collects on its body parts than it does on bees, but still they are effective pollinators.  And they certainly add to the beauty of our garden as they flit from flower to flower.

 

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Black Swallowtail (photo by Suzanne Church)

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Squash Time!

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Up at dawn, those early-riser squash bees are doing a great job pollinating our many squash plants!

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Valley News Article : Pollinator Garden

www.vnews.com/Canillas-community-garden-installs-pollinator-garden-11416274

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Squash Bees

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Squash bees, like most of our native bees, are solitary, ground-nesting bees. This means that they do not live in a hive or colony like the more familiar honey bees and bumble bees. Instead, each female squash bee digs her own nest in the soil and collects pollen and nectar to feed her own offspring.

Squash bees gather pollen exclusively from plants in the genus Cucurbita, which includes, zucchini, yellow squash, all the winter squashes, pumpkins and gourds. These flowers open near dawn, and squash bees begin foraging around that time.

Squash yield is entirely dependent on insect pollinators, because male and female reproductive parts are housed in separate flowers. The pollen is heavy and can’t be dispersed by wind. By some estimates, squash bees alone may pollinate around two-thirds of the commercially grown squash in the United States. They are also regular visitors to suburban vegetable gardens.

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Bees at Work!

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Bee on bee balm

Creation of our pollinator garden has brought greater consciousness to the amazing industry of pollinators and the interplay of plants, pollinators, and people. The service they provide, day after day, pollinating our tomatoes, peppers, squashes, etc., is fascinating and makes us more aware of the importance of providing them with food and shelter and protecting them from pesticides.

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Bee on echinacea

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Tiny bee on sunflower – coordinated colors

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Bees love the borage!

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Canillas Organic Herb Garden

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The organic herb garden at Canillas is available to all gardeners.  Here you will find chives, thyme, sage, basil, parsley, tarragon, dill, oregano, and other herbs. Helen Brody, an adventurous cook who has been tending the garden, suggests: “Try several chopped fresh herbs generously sprinkled over a salad, over olive oil-tossed pasta.” Feel free to experiment!

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Pilfering in the Garden

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A woman with a shopping bag was spotted, going from bed to bed, taking vegetables from Canillas gardens.  Did she misunderstand the meaning of “community” in community garden? We are putting up signs to make it clear. As if there were not challenge enough with our resident woodchuck family!

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