Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I've found a native bee nest.

I was going around cutting off remaining daffodil leaves and found this bundle in the stump bed. I was delighted to see that under them there were native bees using an abandoned chipmunk tunnel to nest in. Evidently the dead leaves provide shade in the hot afternoon sun, so I left them alone.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, on the other side of the stump bed, milkweed wars continue. You can see that I've cleared a circle maybe 20" wide where I do battle. I'd dug up as many roots as I can a couple of weeks ago and now I watch.
I'm sure that lack of rain has slowed them down as I'd not seen any new shoots for a couple of weeks. A false sense of triumph though.

Yesterday I found 2 new shoots.

Today I'll dig down alongside both of them as far as I can go without breaking them, then paint the shafts with herbicide.

All this from one plant! I can't imagine what battle I'll have to do with the 2 full 6' length of plantings I'd put in the ring bed (I'll bet I'd planted a dozen HOS in each planting!). *fume*

I may have to rent one of those little baby backhoes..... >:-(

An update :

20 minutes of hard digging (baked clay, mostly) garnered this batch of roots. I had to go down almost 12" to get these, because the roots don't grow sideways, just up and down. When they 'run' they send a root out sideways for a few inches, then start heading down again.

When I initially dug out the plants 5-6 weeks ago, I'd gotten at least as many roots then as now. So those suckers are still viable. Grrrrrr. See how long the sprouts are for just the 1" that showed yesterday. Obviously they didn't have any trouble breaking through the hard clay.


  1. I remember seeing holes in ground for some bumble bees when I was a kid. It is an amazing thing. I just got stung by a wasp today, are they as desirable for plants as bees are?

  2. Hi Larry. Yes, wasps are good pollinators as well as good predators for bug eggs & larvae, although they can't distinguish between 'good' bugs and 'bad'. Some of the giant wasps (like black & golden) don't even have stingers and are quite striking in appearance. A little baking soda paste will help ease your sting. Take care. :-D

  3. Kris, I believe you are gaining on the milk weed! Makes me think of the native ageratum I brought to the house. I am still finding it in various spots. It think it spreads by seeds blowing.

    What kind of bees are nesting in the ground?

  4. Glenda, I would love to be able to identify the species of bee nesting in the stump garden, but I can't. I can identify only a couple of kinds of bees by sight: carpenter bees, honeybees, green metallic bees. Yet I know I have perhaps a dozen kinds of other bees, all with near the same coloring, differing only in size. Some have pronounced pollen sacks. One medium-sized is yellow, even on the abdomen. But tracking them down on the web? Not so easy. My bad... :-(

  5. P.S. I can say that there are more in number and variety of bees in the gardens this year! :-D


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