Posts Tagged: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Have you hugged your favorite pollinator today?
It's National Pollinator Week, and you're allowed to do that this week. Actually, any time you feel the inclination.
Honey bees, bumble bees, wool carder bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees--they're all out there, ready for a hug.
'Course, they may misinterpret your actions.
This is the fifth annual Pollinator Week, when we pay tribute to bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles--and flies, too. Don't forget the flies. And all the other pollinators out there.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging us to celebrate pollinators June 20-26. Perhaps what we should do, along with celebrating them, is vow to save them.
Female wool carder bee (Anthidium manicatum) heads for lupine at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) sips nectar from a marguerite daisy. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Metallic green sweat bee (Agapostemon texanus) foraging on a coneflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii) nectaring a coneflower. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Cool temperatures and honey bees do not a good team make.
Since honey bees don't forage until temperatures hit 50 to 55 degrees, we haven't seen many bees gathering pollen from our nectarine trees.
If you love nectarines, there's a lot to love. California boasts some 29,300 bearing acres of nectarines, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's down slightly from the 30,300 acres tallied in 2009.
Although acreage is down, yields are up. The 2010 crop totaled 8.03 tons, up slightly from the 7.25 tons harvested in 2009.
Meanwhile, pollen-packin' honey bees turned out in force last Sunday to forage on the pink blossoms of our two nectarine trees.