562Re: [beemonitoring] Bee Lawn Mix Thought
- Feb 4, 2009I am not working on anything personally, but out here in the west Rosemary
Pendleton at the Rocky Mountain Research labs was working on a seed mix
to follow prescribed burns which was mostly grasses but she was promoting
peas from the Nitrogen standpoint. I will suggest to her that the
pollinator standpoint might help her case. Karen
On Wed, 4 Feb 2009, Liz Day wrote:
>> What if highway departments seeded with a bee roadside mix that
>> didn't require them to NOT mow or to treat any different than they
>> do now....wouldn't that be an even greater impact than the few
>> places where people tolerate weedy looking native plant plots and
>> can afford the planting and upkeep?
> YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!
> Yes it would. The red clover on our highways (Indiana) seems to be
> the only place to find Bombus. I hate those native tall grass
> plantings, because they never seem to include good nectar plants,
> just composites. And because sooner or later inevitably the highway
> dept will need to redo the road, and then destroys hundreds of hours
> of people's hard work. Also, when nectar plants ARE installed,
> often the grasses grow so densely that they eventually wipe them out.
> * Red clover is available commercially and can be planted mechanically.
> * Red clover can be maintained by doing what highway depts are
> already doing, except for not herbiciding.
> * Red clover is not horribly invasive, like other exotics.
> * Red clover seems to survive OK on the sides of roads, which are
> usually compacted, alkaline, hot, dry, and generally lousy, where
> some of the better native nectar plants would have a tough time and
> might need a lot of care to get established.
> * If red clover is planted and doesn't survive, or needs to be torn
> up, nobody's lost anything.
> * It blooms all season, and more than once, depending on the mowing
> schedule, so is avail to bees often when other things aren't.
> * At least it's pink, nicer than plain grass as you drive by.
> I do not know about the question of bees being hit by cars.
> An area of dense red clover by our highway near my place was
> supporting B. auricomus. After they herbicided it, auricomus
> disappeared. The clover came back (from the soil seed bank) but
> after 4 yours auricomus is still missing. I now have the highway
> dept committed to not spray that spot, FWIW.
> The main places J. Grixti told me that her team found Bombus
> throughout Illinois were not in natural areas but in red clover
> areas. A previous season's search of the state by another worker,
> who went only to natural areas, turned up few Bombus.
> In Indiana, where prairies are NOT the native vegetation in most of
> the state (it was woods), my impression is that many parks and
> preserves contain few good bumblebee forage plants. Alarming to me,
> I find bumblebees most easily on exotic invasives (autumn olive,
> sweet clover) - the pest plants that most conservation groups are,
> correctly, trying to get rid of. What happens when they
> succeed????? YIKES.
> YES, YES!
> *a) White clover feeds Bombus in lawns. Even fervidus workers.
> *) It attracts rabbits, which are interesting. (opinion only)
> *) As with red clover, no different treatment is needed other than
> what you were doing with your lawn already.
> Again, I've visited prairie plantings where the ONLY Bombus forage to
> speak of was the white clover in the mowed path and the sweet clover
> on the edge of the planting. All the bumblebees were on these, none
> were in the prairie itself. They hit the Monarda when it bloomed,
> and then had to go back to whatever they were eating the rest of the time.
> This is only my opinion, and I am not a native plant restoration expert.
> Liz D.
> Indianapolis, Indiana, east-central USA
> Happy Darwin Day!! Feb. 12.
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