Posts Tagged ‘bees on leaves’

…a tree that needs an ID.

March 7, 2014...the sun popped out for the morning shot of my tree.

March 7, 2014…the sun popped out for this morning shot of my tree.

After reading a post by Alder and Ash  about tree following I thought it would be interesting to follow a tree through the year.  I don’t know what kind of tree this is, but my wife and I walk past it every morning.   Several years ago, the former owners burned the leaves.  I was shocked they would destroy such a valuable resource and pollute the autumn air.   I was determined to save them next time, so when new residents moved in, I got their permission to rake well in advance.

What do we use the leaves for?  Some go into the compost pile, some get spread on or in our veggie beds, and some are bagged up to use as insulation around outside water pipes during winter.

Ecosystem Gardening  describes the importance of leaves…

  • Many butterflies find shelter in the leaf litter, either in egg, pupal, or adult form, to safely wait out the winter and emerge in the spring.
  • Leaf litter provides food and shelter to an amazing variety of invertebrates who break down the leaves, which feeds the soil and other wildlife.
  • The deeper the leaf litter, the more spiders are supported. Spiders are an essential element in keeping pest insects in balance.
  • Leaf litter is also home to ladybugs, salamanders, toads, and other predators of pest insects. It is no wonder that pests like aphids thrive when we continue to destroy the habitat of the predators that would keep them under control.
3-6-14...Bees in leaves.  Do you see them?  Probably not.

3-6-14…Bees in leaves. Do you see them? Probably not.

Today my wife noticed bees walking on the pile of leaves from the very tree I’m following.  I’m wondering what they are looking for?

One of the bees I found that was walking around on the pile of leaves.

A bee inspecting the leaves.

This honeybee walked over a bunch of leaves to stop and have lunch on leaf mold?

After walking over a bunch of leaves, this bee stopped to sample some leaf mold.  There is so much we don’t know about other animals.  I’m just wondering, is this bee bringing back some valuable mineral to the colony or just sipping  moisture?

I’m hoping that when the tree starts to leaf out, someone will tell me what kind it is.  The owner didn’t know and when I asked his permission to ‘follow the tree’ this year, he said he would be happy to learn about it.

Following a tree, April leaf

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