Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bee Barracks

We have been reading up on native pollinators, including the USDA/Pollinator Partnership Publication "Bee Basics An Introduction to Our Native Bees", written by Beatriz Moisset (who happens to be my step-mother) and Stephen Buchmann..each has a PhD and has focused energy on pollinators. So Homer has added, under our hoop house, blocks for Mason Bees. These are on the trellis supports where we will plant cucumbers later on this year. In addition, we have honey bee hives outside, more Mason bee blocks, plenty of brush piles all over the property, sources of water in many locations and will be planting native trees and shrubs for years to come.

Our property is set up with a 30' buffer zone around our perimeter. This year we will be buying, via York County, and assortment of trees and shrubs that provide homes for many native birds, bugs and butterflies. We have learned that the difference between planting a White Pine and a Norfolk Pine has a huge impact on the song bird population! Who knew?! A White Pine is native to the U.S. while a Norfolk Pine is not. As a result, native songbirds can find tons to eat in the canopy of White Pine, while they are starved in a stand of Norfolk Pine. We know what we will be planting! Want to know more? Read the book "Bringing Nature Home", written by Doug Tallamy (of the University of Delaware).


  1. I am glad that you are planting native trees. Doug Tallamy's book was an eye opener for me too. I thought that I was well aware of the problems created by non-native species after having read quite a bit on the subject, but Doug Tallamy's research and conclusion were a revelation. We need a paradigm shift on gardening, as he says.
    I would like to slap a sticker that reads "Feed a bird, plant a native tree" on every bag of bird seed. For more on birds and native plants read this blog:

  2. We will plant more every year..York County has an easy to order offer. I need to get the slow release water bags so they survive the summer! I'll check that blog out right now, thanks.



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