Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Explore Outdoors ~ Dandelions (and the bugs that love them!)

We're going on a dandie hunt (sung along to the tune of Going on a Bear Hunt). You do have dandelions growing in your neighborhood, don't you? But we're not just looking for dandelions - we're looking for the insects that hang out on them. Dandelions may not be the best source of nectar and pollen for bees, but they are an early source of food for insects. Which is why I consider them "pretty yellow flowers" and not "weeds."

This week, take a close look at the dandelions growing in your yard, along the sidewalks, in gardens, and at the park. Then look closer. You might see:
  • carpenter bees
  • wasps
  • flies of all kinds
  • miner bees
  • honey bees
  • bumble bees
  • spiders
  • butterflies
  • slugs

... or even something else! Spend some time watching them. Draw a picture and jot down some distinguishing characteristics of the critter you find. For example: that tachinid fly in the bottom left corner. See those short antennae? The white patch on its butt? The way it holds its (single pair of) wings out at an angle? 

If you'd like to grow some flowers for bees and other pollinators, check out the list I have in this post from a few years back.

No comments:

Post a Comment