The Helpful Gardener
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Used some coffe grounds in my compost last year (Starbucks no less) and had nary a problem...must be your warm weather....

Scott

opabinia51
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So what is your Climate like Scott? What state do you live in? (Zones mean nothing to me so, saying zone 5 doesn't mean anything to me). :?:

The Helpful Gardener
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We're just inland, piedmont sort of, lows to the neg20's on occasion, cooler summers, four real seasons, that sort of thing...

opabinia51
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Okay folks, if you haven't already done so, it is time to put out your mason bee nests. Mason bees start appearing as early as February and all die off by the time the summer heat comes around.

I don't know about the rest of north America but, here on the West Coast we have had unseasonably warm and not to mention dry weather. Anyway, best to get those nests out for the Mason bees, thus ensuring that you will have a health population next year.

A slight reminder that Heather will attract Mason Bees.

Newt
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Hi Op,

Strange that you should post this now. I just answered a question on another forum about mason bee houses. They had a question I couldn't answer, maybe you can. They asked if it was ok to use cedar to make a house. In my searching it appears that fir, pine and spruce were recommended. Of course, nothing preservative treated. They are located in Vancouver, BC. They also had a question about when to put them out. I did the best I could with searching. Here's the post if you don't mind helping out.

https://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=6059

Newt

opabinia51
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In my research I have found no evidence that states that Cedar is bad for Mason Bee Nests. In fact, that is what I built mine from. I'll look at your link and see what it has to say.

I do know that you have to be careful with Cedar because Mason Bees won't lay their nests in holes that are dirty or have any sort of protrusions in them. Cedar can be notorius for protrusions as it is juch a fine grained wood.
I would mention to the people from Van that they should vacuum out all the dust from the holes after drilling them and then use a pencil to rub around inside the holes.

The Helpful Gardener
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Need to be careful with that "cedar" word here, kids; this is an international forum and cedar for us East Coasters is Juniperus virginiana, isn't it a Thuja for you West Coast types, Opa? It's Cedrus for the folks in Lebanon and in Arizona (different species). Common names can lead to misunderstandings...

Scott

opabinia51
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Phylogeny of Cedar (esque) trees..... I had always assumed the Junipers were closely related to what we westerners think of as Cedars. As in Cedar Primadellas, Western Red Cedars and the like. I'll have to look into to the phylogeny of Junipers and see how they are related to Cedars. Anyway, the plant itself is acidic like a Cedar is so, I'm thinking that (though I've never heard of a Juniper giving someone enough wood to build a Mason Bee Nest) Juniper would still be okay.

Newt
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You two are a riot!! Ask a simple question. :roll:
Thank you both so very much. I have passed the information on.

Newt

opabinia51
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Hey Newt, I just looked at that forum at UBC where the question stemmed from. I'm not a woman, I am a man. I've got the X and Y Chromosomes to prove it. Just thought that I would let you know.

Newt
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Hi Op,

I didn't say you were a man. :(
I asked a biologist that posts on another site that I frequent and she uses cedar for her Mason Bee houses.
I knew you were a woman. I'm a woman as well and most folks think I'm a man. Guess it's the name Newt that they associate with that Gingrich guy.

Newt

opabinia51
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No no no. I am not a woman. I am a man. Anyway, as far as the phylogenetics of Cedars and Junpers is concerned. The two trees are completely and totally unrelated;
Cedars are a member of the Pine family; the Pinaceae and Junipers are a member of the Cypress family the Cupressaceae. The trees are however related down to the same order the Pinales. So, they are somewhat related. Regardless, they have the same type of wood in that it is acidic.

Newt
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OOoooops!! I read that too fast! :oops: :oops: :oops: I'm sooo sorry. All I can say is that, from MY perspective, you seem as sensitive as most women I know. Am I digging myself out yet??? :roll: Btw, my son is also a very sensitive guy. I'm still digging!! :?

Newt

opabinia51
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No worries Newt, just wanted to get it straight. 8) Especially seeing that I have family and friends that work at and attend UBC.

Newt
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Oh my, the hole gets deeper! Family and friends at UBC. Please do accept my apologies!

Newt

opabinia51
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Apology accepted. Don't worry about it. We gardners quite often dig ourselves into holes.....reminds me of when I was planting a Eucalyptus tree.... my boss said that I might as well had dug to China!!! :wink:

Yes, I just realized that this recollection has no context.... I had dug a hole so deep that well.... I'm 5'6" and only my torso would show if I stood in the hole... so, like I said: we gardners often dig ourselves into holes.
Last edited by opabinia51 on Sat Feb 26, 2005 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Newt
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:D :D :D

Newt

The Helpful Gardener
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heeheehee :lol:

And you say WE'RE hilarious, Newt... :D

That cedar thing still rears its head; what plant are the bee people excluding from housing? Red Cedar (J. virginiana) provides enough wood for closets to keep moths away, so maybe that's our bee killer? What are you west coasters calling cedar? Still lots of unanswered questions; and I HATE unanswered questions... :wink:

Scott

opabinia51
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We call Junipers; Junipers but, I am now curious as to what the botanical name of what we call Cedar primadellas (sp?). The only two Junipers that I am aware of around here are Japanese Juniper (used for bonsai) and the Juniper that everyone has in their gardens. Neither would be useful for lumber.

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Red cedar is definitely a tree, as is Rocky mountain juniper (J. scopulorum)...

opabinia51
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Mason Bees

Yes, put up my Mason Bee blocks aka houses last February. Was looking at them the other week and a bunch of the holes have been used by the bees to lay eggs. So, next year I will have a bumper crop of pollinators in my garden. Look forward to it.

jstr12
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They attract fruit flies, a few days after you put them in the compost bin you'll have your own personal swarm!

jstr :)
Jstr =D

uggabugga
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i was so happy to see this particular tomato hornworm, i just had to take a picture of it.

[url=https://img489.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1000206rb0.jpg][img]https://img489.imageshack.us/img489/976/1000206rb0.th.jpg[/img][/url]


[url=https://img337.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1000205he1.jpg][img]https://img337.imageshack.us/img337/4765/1000205he1.th.jpg[/img][/url]

how can i encourage more of these, outside of not killing this particular caterpillar?

peachguy
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I have houses for mason bee houses but i don't seem to have any bees in the houses what is wrong and how can i attract them. My houses are just old boards with holes in them.

opabinia51
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I believe that there is a plant described above that attract mason bees. One that I can think of off the top of my head is Heather.

But, check out the beneficial insects list, there are plants that will attract the insects listed next the insect names.

doccat5
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Fruit flies do not bother coffee grounds. Just bury them in the layers, the worms love em. That and black and white newspaper, no colored ads.
doccat5

I'd rather be gardening!

TheLorax
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peachguy, maybe you can find a source to purchase mason bees buried here somewhere-
https://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Beekeeping/weblinks.htm

Which mason bees are native to where you garden and where did you place your bee blocks?

Here's a thread on bees that might be helpful-
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7027

Found this mega site of links that might help you track down information on bees for Ontario here-
https://www.colostate.edu/Depts/Entomology/links.html

Fruit Flies are my friend. Particularly when they are in my composter. I place my Pinguicula along the edge of the composter. Nothing but the best for my baby pings! Yum yum!

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Jess
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I tried the original link that you posted on here Opa and it no longer works. I have also noticed that the beneficial insect links have lots of information but no pictures.
I found these so thought I would add them as I find visuals are very helpful.

https://insects.tamu.edu/images/insects/color/cotton/benefic.jpg

https://www.bayercropscience.co.uk/content.pestspotter/766/769/e-Tools/Pests%20Spotter/Aphid%20Predators.mspx?fn=output

https://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/insects/naboidea.htm

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/pests/e1225-1.htm

If you have a good link please add to this. :)
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

opabinia51
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Hi Jess, this an old thread thanks for the updates.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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applestar
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Here's a link to an archived copy of the old web page that Opa had linked to.

This is a REALLY cool site, opabinia.

opabinia51
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Very interesting site, I'll have to sit down and read it when I have time. Thanks for the links.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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applestar
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My potato leaves are developing brown splotches. They eventually yellow, brown and hang down/fall off. I'm not sure if this is part of the natural potato foliage browning -- it seems a little early to me. In case it's a disease of some kind, I started to clip them off and dispose of them -- yeah I'm GETTING to the beneficial insect part -- and a bunch of WHITE FLIES started flying. Now convinced that THEY are the culprit, I was going over possible remedies in my mind, brushing the top of the potato foliage to disturb the white flies, WHEN A 2" PRAYING MANTIS scuttled away. What do you know, someone was already on the job.

I should have more faith in the process. :wink:

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gixxerific
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Wow! yet another extraordinary thread on THG. I feel Like i should be paying tuition.

I have been learning about the good and the bad about the bug world and companion planting. I have bookmarked several of the sites and printed some of them as well for reference. This will help further my eductaion, I wish I had something more to add other than....

....Thanks

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dynamic accumulotors

You should add comfrey and stinging nettles to your list of dynamic accumulators. I believe chamomille fits the bill like-wise. If it turns out
that chamomille doesn't meet the standards for being classified as a
dynamic accumulator, it makes the grade as an excellent companion plant.
Most of the people I've come in contact with call it " The Plant Doctor".

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applestar
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Here's an excellent native bee bulletin from Rutgers:
https://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/NativeBeeBenefits2009.pdf

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applestar
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Adding University of California IPM Natural Enemies Gallery link:
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/NE/index.html
They have good photos for adult as well as eggs, larval, and pupal stages of the beneficials.

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Sage Hermit
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Call me strange but I see the slugs and the ants and the aphids and the birds and the critters all doing their job. I have almost no use for unnatural herbicides but gee golly gosh I need some mosquito and tick repellent. When we talk about getting rid of insects no one does it better than their natural predator. For 2 years I could see the beetles in my soil from the past and I want to know really how big a problem they are for you when you meet the plant's basic growing specifications properly. Seems to me the science of Insect Control has been made complicated with the many ways to actually do it and it needs a more simplified and practical approach. Example:
Problem with Spider mites drop in assassin bugs.
Put all the time and energy into figuring out the requirements for balance and sustainability in that approach as you would in approving a new chemical! Will the assassin bugs get out of hand? Who will eat the assassin beetle if they over crowd your space? Its like adding cinnimon to control mold flies. :o

Perhaps I am too organic in my vision. Its what works for me for now though. Wish you all the best.
Last edited by Sage Hermit on Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:33 am, edited 3 times in total.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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Sage Hermit
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Mason Bee Video

You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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applestar
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About a week ago, I realized I had forgotten to tie up one of the container tomato vines to the stake, and they had fallen over from the weight of the green fruits and were floundering in the mint patch. :shock:

When I gently lifted them up to stake them propery, I realized the situation made the foliage vulnerable to a massive aphid attack. :x

After initial ire wore off, I looked them over carefully to assess the situation.... Well, it turned out that almost every leaf sported an aphid mummy or two 8) :twisted:

Confident that the situation was under control and the Garden Patrol was already on the job, I simply tied up the vines and made sure to water the plant consistently so as not to put it under stress. :D

This week, there is no sign of the aphids. :()

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applestar
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This mama looks almost ready to lay eggs!
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/3C121C07-369B-4D63-B6D4-7524120FC0ED-25423-0000119B1F0D6183.jpg[/img]

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