Visitors To The Garden

Remember That Gophers Need To Make A Living. Preferably In Someone Else’s Garden. When All The Chores Are Done!

From freezing cold to summertime hot in just one week.  Amazing!  This last week has been amazingly warm especially in the greenhouse.  With that heat has come an amazing array of flying and crawling bugs.  The past week brought out a good variety of parasitic wasps that feed on aphids, spider mites and other small creatures and this is good.  I have also seen the largest bumble bee that I have ever seen.  It has a large orange band on its back as so I was able to identify it as a Orange Belted Bumblebee.  It is huge!  It is a ground nesting social insect and it only survives one season.  Our pollinators are invaluable and this is the time of year when they are establishing their new colonies with the least amount of plants that are producing pollen.  The Orange Belted Bumblebee is one of 250 species of Bumble Bee.  The Queen when she comes out of hibernation starts her colony off with a few simple cells with several eggs in each.  These will become her workers and the nursemaids for the future eggs she will lay.  They do not swarm and rarely sting, however, their sting is one of the most painful stings you can receive and the swelling and irritation will last for days so don’t provoke them.  They are one of our best pollinators but they have been endangered greatly by the loss of habitat, pesticides and disease.  In the 1990’s it was decided by large greenhouse Tomato producers in the States to ship these bees to Europe to be bred in large quantities and then shipped back to the United States for use in their greenhouses.  However as usual, best laid plans met with major problems in that they picked up some very communicable diseases which spread rapidly to other bumble bee colonies in the wild and there was mass die offs.  I have never seen so many of them as this past few weeks so hopefully they will be a good source of pollination this year.  

A friend in Lavington has spotted the first Humming birds of the season.  I have polished off my feeders and they are hung anxiously awaiting the arrival  of one of my favourite birds.

I have had several calls from people anxious to get their bedding plants.  I will be accepting people again this year in the greenhouse by appointment and will have my plants in the Co-Op on Saturday the 1st of May.  It is still way too early to put most of our bedding plants outside but I am aware that everyone is excited to get started!  Next week I will have a large ad in the Lumby Valley Times with my list of plants available and prices.  I will also have a good quantity of these plants at the Lumby and District Public Market on May 8th.  Plenty of time to plant for the season.  Time now to plan, and prepare for the season ahead.

Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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