- I walked down the tomato rows this morning, as soon as the dew was dried, with a tuning fork (Middle C). I whacked it on each stake, then touched the vibrating fork to the blossom stems, imitating a buzz-pollinating bee. It's awesome to see the pollen spurt out of the blossom, which it does, if it is ripe for pollen shed, and if the light is just right.The bee population in my new garden is very thin, and tomatoes are not the most attractive blossoms for the few bees there are.
Two summers ago, there was a cotton field across the little branch from the garden. When it was sprayed during bloom in August, it wiped out a lot of the bumblebees and melissodes bees. We had a colony of B. pensylvanicus that summer - the first here in many years. It vanished overnight, and none have been seen since. Only B. impatiens is still present. And I have not seen a single squash bee since then. Do squash bees also visit cotton?
Sometimes we humans bite the hand that feeds us.