Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I thought bees were supposed to be good.

Every year after my peonies are done blooming, they start getting munched on.  Big time:
It makes me so mad - I can't ever see any insects on or around those things, and the poor peonies look raggedy for the rest of the summer.  I decided to do something about it this year.

I went to the nursery yesterday and explained to the pest expert what was going on.  He asked me if the leaves just look raggedy, or if the bites look really precise, almost like someone used a hole-puncher.  I told him DEFINITELY the hole-puncher, precise look:
He told me that I've got leafcutter bees eating my peonies.  Apparently, they don't eat what they cut out.  They carry the portion they cut out back to their nests and fashion cells for their young with the portions of the leaf.  He says that they hang out in wood piles or in sheds.  Which I don't see any of anywhere near my house.  He told me that where they burrow, you'll see a little pile of sawdust on the ground underneath the hole.

I was reminded of some holes I saw last year in my railroad ties that surround my backyard garden.  Whatever was burrowing into those ties left a little pile of sawdust at the base of their hole.  I'm wondering now if that's where these bees have been nesting. 

And apparently, they're nocturnal.  Which is why I've never caught or seen what is destroying my peonies.

The dude gave me some insecticide/plant food in the form of pebbles that you scatter on the ground in your flower beds, and then water.  He says that it seeps into the soil, the plant soaks it up, and then the plant smells and tastes bad to the pests.  I'm hoping to see less damage soon.

While I was there, I picked up some perennials for my front garden.  They're called Ice Plants.  When I saw the picture of what their blooms would look like, I said, "Mother may I?"
They bloom April to June, so I'm not expecting to see any color on them until next year, but I do have a few tiny blooms here and there:
Perennials are so expensive, but really worth it, I think.


Unknown said...

Your garden is so beautiful! I hope I develop the talent and passion someday for a garden so my house looks as lovely as yours! - Lex

Mindy H. said...

Bee's must have a great public relations department because, like you, I have never heard of them HURTING plants before.

In other news, I am jealous of your green thumb.

brooke said...

can you come be my gardner?? I need serious help!!

Kar said...

Haha! Brooke, you're the one with the fabulous vegetable garden! What are you talking about? :)

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