It’s A Small World pgs. 78 to 81 and MORE

Variety visiting the garden

I want to introduce you to someone I have had the pleasure of meeting and hear speak on a number of occasions. Geri Hens is the owner of Hens Honey Bee Farm,”the only NYS producer of USDA Raw Organic NY Native Wildflower and Tree Varietal Honey”.

Her bees produce 16 varieties of native/indigenous vegetation liquid, creamed, and comb honey. Hens Honey Bee Farm is “a nationally renowned producer of cruelty-free premium apitherapy/homoeopathic quality raw honey and bees”, and is also an environmentally responsible honey producer.

I admire this woman and her talks have helped encourage me in a most responsible gardening direction. She is an encyclopedia of information on living with garden pests and the negative ramifications of pesticide/herbicide use also.

She fosters the use of native plantings, but also recognizes that not all gardens can sustain this kind of planting in entirety. In these cases, she expounds on the perennials, shrubs and trees that will support and attract bees and other pollinators – and gives the reasoning behind them as good and sensible garden inhabitants.

A Word About Shrubs and the Little Creatures of the Small World

My garden has an abundance of trees and shrubs, mostly evergreen varieties. Sure they are important in garden design, but not the only reason they are in the garden. Many insects and birds find them invaluable for winter homes and shelter. Food too in the case of the deciduous trees and shrubs. You do not have to live on acres of property to support wildlife, you just have to be willing to accept some insect and bird damage. Yes, the birds do a number on the 25 foot Juniper each winter.

Geri talks about attracting pollinators and birds to the garden and explains how this is important on a much larger, countrywide/worldwide scale. The color of plants and the time of day plays a big part.

Geri serves Cornell Cooperative Extension as a Bee Specialist and “provides education to the public, growers, and bee keepers, swarm collection and consulting about issues pertaining to pollinating insects (especially honey bees, bumblebees, and native bees).

Hens participates in Indigenous Women’s Initiatives, and is a tenured outdoor educator, and retired SUNY college outdoor education program administrator, professor, and coach. Geri Hens is a major contributor of honey bee wellness and health management information contained in Ross Conrad’s Natural Beekeeping textbook.”

Geri is available 24/7 to help or answer questions and told us to call anytime. She will come to remove and relocate unwanted bees, wasps and hornets.

She is a remarkable woman and one of the most riveting speakers I have ever heard. You pay attention to each and every word as her wealth of knowledge is literally without end.

Ants farming aphids

So, What’s Bugging You?

I recognize that many of the visitors to my garden are not wanted, like the Japanese Beetles above, but with good garden practice and training in IPM methods, I have a good balance of insects and birds to control those unwanted characters.

In-House Robin and Food Source Under the Moss Garden at the base of the fountain

The robins, grackles, and starlings come for the dinner awaiting them under my moss garden. Did you ever look beneath moss? It is a community of so many insects. I have robins nesting in my Lilac tree and the natural food supply is plentiful for the growing families.

Not all works out in the most desirable manner though as some of the pollinators do get to be prey to others. You will see an example below.

Black Swallowtail

And a gardener has to contend with all the desirable’s hungry little larvae. I have had my share of borers if you follow this blog. Leaf feeding caterpillars seem be under control with the birds’ help and dragonflies take flight for the moths. Birds and ladybugs keep aphids in check.

But many are always a pleasure and very welcome, aphids and slugs excluded. Not everything is rosy at 664. And I do have my eye on the Plume moth duo above too. Fun to find and photograph, but not what they leave behind in the way of little chewers.

Here is a poor fellow I found feeding on my Shasta Daisy. I have no clue how this fly was alive, let alone feeding. I truly was sorry for the fly because it is a helpful pollinator.

See my next post Where the Wild Things Are. A trip to the Tifft’s Nature Preserve is a better place to find the bees and bugs, or is it now? Just because you build it, will they come? Probably, but not always and not all the time. See a few critters not seen in my garden yet this year. And Daylilies at 664 will be an upcoming post on Green Apples, none I purchased, all from commercial clients garden demolitions. See how those that were rescued fared on Green Apples.

You may have noticed a new badge in the sidebar today. Garden Walk Garden Talk has been accepted to Alltop.  You might be interested in being accepted too under the topic Gardening. If so, go to Just apply, wait and see!

I like that Alltop has some of the best blogs listed anywhere. My favorites are MacRumors, Planet Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom Killer Tips, Macworld, CNN, Wired and TechCrunch. You can find your favorites at Alltop too.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
This entry was posted in Ants, Bees, Bugs, Butterflies, garden, insects and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to It’s A Small World pgs. 78 to 81 and MORE

  1. Congratulations on the Alltop designation. Poor little pollinators with diseases and other problems. I know sometimes it’s part of nature, but hard to watch. Great post!

  2. GirlSprout says:

    Love the hydrangea photo with the swallowtail. I have lots of pollinators, but not the variety that you have. A hearty congrats on the Alltop acceptance!

  3. One says:

    Really, really love your bug photos! They are so detailed. Great information too.

    I have been busy with family and haven’t been chasing butterflies lately.

    Congrats for being accepted at Alltop!

  4. Cat says:

    Congratulations on your Alltop acceptance! You’ve got lots of great shots of pollinators…sorry to see the fungus on the fly…I wouldn’t have thought that either. Nature is amazing.

  5. I had no idea that flies could get fungus and become so damaged. Your photos are, as ever, amazing, such a rich variety of bugs. Hadn’t come across alltop before, congrats for getting accepted.

  6. Barbie says:

    What a great variety of bugs !! I can’t wait for spring to show you our little creatures in SA.

  7. tina says:

    I’m with you on the poor fly. I hate to see anything suffer. How wonderful the agent identifies things for you and tells you the issue. Geri sounds like an incredible woman and how fortunate for you to know her. I find bees fascinating but have no knowledge of them.

  8. Love all the little guys in the garden, even if some of them are pests. Mother Nature knows best! That fly with the fungus is a fascinating find! And, what a treat to hear a speaker who is so passionate about her bees!

  9. Donna says:

    I too love my bugs and try to control the unwanted naturally with birds and other helpful insects…Geri sounds amazing…as always I continue to learn so much from you and your blog Donna…and I really do need to add more education about insects to the new goals for next year…spending time watching them is always fascinating but not feasible this year…wonderful pics!!

  10. AngryRedhead says:

    Great post! There’s a lot of information there and some interesting tidbits. The part about the fungal fly made me a little sad. I’m impressed you made the effort to have the disease identified.

  11. Amy says:

    Enjoyed reading your post and looking at your beautiful photographs. I guess we have to put up with some of the bad bugs to get the good ones for a balance….as you said.

  12. Some nicies and some nasties and some fascinating newbies (to me).


  13. Masha says:

    I love all the pictures of bees and bumbles, they are a joy to see. It is much much better to live with all the critters that come into the garden, rather than try to kill everything in sight for the sake of a perfect flower (or vegetable)… Congratulations on being accepted to Alltop.

  14. Holley says:

    Great info. I feel so sorry for the fly. How sad. Although, it is a cruel world with everything feeding off something else. That’s why I try not to upset the balance. I know something will come along to eat whatever’s bugging me!

  15. Shyrlene says:

    Wow, what a cool post! I wouldn’t have said I was big on entomology before (except maybe on the original CSI TV series), but this was really fascinating. Congratulations on Alltop!

  16. b-a-g says:

    Donna – Of all the pictures that you have shown, the one of the creatures in the mud is the most similar to my own garden.
    Congratulations on being accepted by Alltop!

  17. Alistair says:

    Donna,fascinating pictures. Creepy crawlies and the like, part of gardening and nature, but wasps, cant stand them, always getting stung. Well done regards the Alltop thing, must go and have a peek.

  18. Karen says:

    Donna, congratulations on the Alltop acceptance, your blog is definitely worthy of any and all such honors. Another fascinating post you have here today. I guess I never thought about bugs getting bugged by fungus, who knew?

  19. Andrea says:

    Wow i love the vividness and details. It is informative too of the food chain in the insect world. Congratulations for being In at Alltop. I am also amazed in your diligence in posting, sometimes i can’t cope in picking and commenting. But I really try to cope for the wonderful posts and photos.

  20. I am so glad you use your blog to educate others as to how important each part of a garden is, especially all the creatures that a garden supports! We aren’t just gardeners but caretakers of entire ecosystems. Great post!!! Incredible photos, as usual!!

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