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Re: [beemonitoring] Ground nesting bees and mulch

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  • Jack Neff
    Thick layers of newspaper, 4 of wood chips or plastic sheeting are all very unnatural ground covers so you shouldn t fool yourself as to whether or not they
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 9, 2013
      Thick layers of newspaper, 4" of wood chips or plastic sheeting are all very unnatural ground covers so you shouldn't fool yourself as to whether or not they will have a negative affect on ground nesting bees  - they will.  However, bees don't need to nest adjacent to their floral hosts so if you have un-mulched areas somewhere in general vicinity all should be well.


      John L. Neff
      Central Texas Melittological Institute
      7307 Running Rope
      Austin,TX 78731 USA

      From: Julie Serences <jpserences@...>
      To: Amy Alesch <aalesch@...>
      Cc: Bee United <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, April 8, 2013 5:07 PM
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Ground nesting bees and mulch

      Try  UCB  Gordon Frankie's Web site for more info.

      At the California Native Plant Society  Elderberry Farms Demo Garden in Rancho Cordova, CA -   they weed first, plant  and then underlay with newspapers and cover with a 4 inch coarse wood chip mulch.

      You get weed protection for the first year or so and with continued spot  weeding the natives take over. Newspapers decompose fairly rapidly.  I have observed native bees using paths to the soil underneath the mulch during the second season.  Weeding close  to the plants for a couple of years also leaves a weed seed free zone for ground  nesting bees that can be left undisturbed once the plants are established.


      Julie Serences
      Audubon  at Home Coordinator, Sacramento Audubon Society
      Xerces Partner in Pollinator Conservation
      Board Member Sacramento Valley CNPS

      Bees are not optional

      On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Amy Alesch <aalesch@...> wrote:
      Hi, everyone-

      In the case of establishing native prairie plants sometimes it's necessary to mulch (we used black plastic mulch for our study) to keep weed pressure from the establishing perennial plants (transplants, in our case). I was wondering if any of the group knows if there is any research on if or how mulching may affect groundnesting bee populations in the area...or anything in a similar vein of study.

      Thank you!


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