Tag Archive | bee

Bee in Flower

imageI was sad to see this little cutie becoming sluggish from the cold. I gave her a pet, a few hot breaths and left her in a flower near our shed that has many carpenter bee holes. These guys do hibernate. Many folks aren’t too happy about these guys drilling holes into their woodwork. I don’t mind. They make my flowers happy by pollinating them.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Bald-Faced Hornet ~ Dolichovespula maculata

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This one was right next to our garage. We felt they were of no danger to us… We also wanted the nest for a garage decoration when they were done with it!!Bald Face Hornet The ‘clean-shaved’ face of a bald-faced hornet!

Bald-faced hornets, also called bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, blackjacket, and bull wasp, are actually part of the yellowjacket family and not a true hornet (genus Vespa). Colonies contain 400 to 700 workers and they build a hanging paper nest. Workers aggressively defend their nest by repeatedly stinging invaders. However, the bald-faced hornet is less aggressive compared to yellowjacket wasps.

Nests are build out of paper.  The bald-faced hornet makes its paper by chewing tiny pieces of wood and mixing the pulp with saliva in their mouths. The wet paper paste is then patted, pulled and stretched to form rows of cells, to make the honeycomb.  When the pulp dries, it becomes paper—somewhat like the paper your newspaper is made of.

The life-cycle work like this. Workers are killed by frosts in the fall. The fertilized females (future queens) hibernate in barns, attics and other sheltered places. The queen by herself starts a nest in a new location in the spring.

Bald-faced hornets are beneficial; They prey on soft-bodied insects including caterpillars and aphids. They harvest nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) from flowering plants. They are attracted to meats just like the yellowjackets… Unfortunately, they can be a potential health hazard to people allergic to their stings.

The nest by the garage was progressing quite nicely, until our return from our Labor Day trip. There was a larger than normal hole at the bottom that wasn’t there when we left and there was no activity now. We waited a few more weeks to be fairly sure no one was truly home. The nest was easily retrieved by climbing on top of our trailer and clipping the branch.

The top was a bit ratty, as the hornets weren’t there to keep up on the repairs from the hard rains. There was a body that fell out while we looked into the nest.

I began to research what could have caused the hole and where all the bald-faced hornets went. The branch was a bit too weak to have an animal (raccoon, possum, or skunk) out on the limb and the hole was too small to be an animal also. I’ve watched YouTube videos of racoons taking the whole darn thing! I started thinking smaller and came to a conclusion it had to be a bird. It took a bit more digging to find out bluejays and other birds, are fans of bald-faced hornet larvae. Their feathers are thick enough to prevent them from being stung.

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Note the ‘ratty’ top of the nest. This is because there was no ‘home improvement’ being done as no one was home.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Autumn Blooming Flowers 9-24-2015

Happy Thursday everyone!

The one week countdown to vacation starts now. Opps. Hmmm. It’s Wednesday this moment. However, this post publishes on Thursday… Awe, who cares! Next Wednesday, I will be in the Mile High city of Denver, Colorado, officiating my BFF’s wedding! Let’s hear it for my KweenBe!! Love ya!!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Solanum dulcamara ~ Bittersweet nightshade

You won’t die from eating this, but you’ll sure feel like shit!

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Jerusalem artichoke ~ Helianthus tuberosus

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Physalis philadelphica ~ Tomatillo or  Mexican husk tomato

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Pennisetum alopecuroides ~ Fountain grass

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Devil’s Beggar-Ticks  – Bidens frondosus

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Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ – Maiden Grass

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Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus on Sedum.

So cute! I’ll write about you soon.

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Lonicera albiflora ~ Western white honeysuckle, Texas honeysuckle, White honeysuckle, White shrub honeysuckle or White limestone honeysuckle.

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Ohhh boy was I jealous of what I saw down in Southern Illinois… Crepe myrtle ~ Lagerstroemia indica

They were so beautiful. What a difference a zone makes.

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Autumn Blooming Flowers 9-21-2015

Haaaaappy Monday!

Last weekend I was down in Utica, Illinois to enjoy the Illinois Wine Fest.

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Asclepias tuberosa ~ Milkweed

Everyone is enjoying the milkweed!

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Beautiful natural art. I bet if spiders became aware, they would become great mathematicians. How do they measure that perfectly?

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Asclepias syriaca ~ Common milkweed

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I’m not sure of this grass, however the seedhead was pretty cool.

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Wish I had more time to key this out… Sigh.

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Monarch on the Joe Pye. I took so many photos of this guy enjoying this bloom, there’s no surprise more photos are turning up!!

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Hypericum perforatum, ~ Perforate St John’s-wort, Common Saint John’s wort or St John’s wort

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Eupatorium perfoliatum ~ Boneset

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-10-2015

Happy Day!!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Monarch on Joe Pye Weed

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Oenothera missouriensis ~ Ozark sundrops

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Clueless…

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Rose hips

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Lonicera flava ~ Yellow honeysuckle….. I think!

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Aster macrophyllus ~ Big Leaf Aster

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Oenothera biennis ~ Evening Primrose, Evening Star, How Weed, Kings Cure-all, Fever-plant

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Bees love their thistle!!

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Rhus typhina ~ common sumac

Not poisonous!! Very velvety soft.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-9-2015

Wonderful Wednesday!

Click to see what was blooming in 2014 or blooming in 2013.

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Helenium autumnale ~ Common sneezeweed, Fall sneezeweed, Autumn sneezeweed

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Crioceris duodecimpunctata ~ The spotted asparagus beetle

Gaaa! Squish. I don’t kill many things. I try to just make things go away. These guys are everywhere right now. EVERYWHERE.

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Campsis radicans ~ Trumpet flower

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Xylocopa virginica ~ Eastern carpenter bee

They are hiding under the blooms of my cup plant because I turned on the sprinkler. They fluffed up and flew away afterward.

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Miscanthus of some sort.

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Eupatorium fortunei ~ Pink Frost Joe Pye Weed

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Caladium ~ Annual elephant ear

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Mandevilla boliviensis

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Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern sea oats

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Clematis ~ Not sure of flavor

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-8-2015

Terrific Tuesday…

Eh, not so much. I’ve got a “Case of the Monday’s”… or in this instance, an “Attack of the Tuesdays”!

The only good thing about a long weekend with a Monday holiday is that there is only four more days to the week =-) I’ll try to focus on that.

We did have a wonderfully long weekend in Sooooouthern Illinois (Kentucky was only over the river) and got to see so many cool things not normally seen up here. For you friends that are not on this island, Illinois is a long state, 8 hours from top to bottom. That’s 2 growing zones, swoon! I will post about it soon.

I am a bit behind on the ‘Blooming’ posts. These were all shot at least a week ago. Just for clarity. Enjoy!

Click to see what was Blooming in 2014 or Blooming in 2013.

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Cornus sericea ~ Red dogwood berries

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Asclepias ~ Milkweed seed pod

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Euphorbia corollata – Flowering spurge

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I’ve got nothing. A weed?

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Solidago rigida ~ Stiff goldenrod

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Silphium laciniatum ~ compass plant

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Liatris aspera ~ Rough blazing star

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Ditto.

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I really like the leaves on these… awe, snap. Brain cloud! Anyone?

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Eryngium yuccifolium~ Rattlesnake master

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Solidago nemoralis ~ Grey Goldenrod

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Summer Blooming Flowers 9-3-2015

Happy Thursday!!

I was looking over 2014 ‘Blooming Flowers’ from the month of August and I sure took way more photos in 2014 than 2015! I wonder if I’ve done less hiking, less visits to my perennial nursery or what?! Had the season gone by faster? I feel like the goldenrods, liatris and asters shouldn’t be blooming for another few weeks. I shouldn’t be seeing seedpods yet. Ugh. This means this blooming season is coming to a close soon, not that soon, but soon 😉

See what was blooming in 2014 or blooming in 2013.
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Baptisia australis ~ False indigo seed heads

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Physostegia virginiana ~ Obedient Plant

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Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – New England Aster

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Silene regia ~ Royal Catchfly

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Symphyotrichum leave ~ Smooth Blue Aster

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Nuphar polysepala ~ Yellow water lily

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Cirsium discolor ~ Pasture Thistle

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Alnus incana ~ grey alder or speckled alder

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Solidago canadensis ~ Canada Goldenrod

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I just thought this was a great mix of wildflowers…

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl