Pollinators in Early Spring

by Bill Hoss

Hover fly

Some Hover flies mimic stinging wasps

With many trees and flowers blooming so early in 2012, I been wondering what bees, butterflies and flies people are seeing.  By middle to late March I was already seeing a Spicebush swallowtail, one of the smaller sulphurs, a Cabbage White and a couple Pearl crescents in my yard visiting early the bloomers.  Honey bees, one species of bumble bee Bombus bimaculatus, the large carpenter bee Xylocopa virginica and one species of hover fly were also in evidence.  What I wasn’t seeing were the small native bees.  I had heard or read somewhere that while plants were triggered by temperature, most pollinators were triggered by the length of daylight and as a result, there might be lower pollination of early bloomers.

2 thoughts on “Pollinators in Early Spring

  1. I saw what I think was a Spicebush Swallowtail about a month ago in our overheated March. Not much lately but I expect lots with our next warm spell.

  2. Bill, I am not seeing native bees either, except a couple of carpenter bees that drill my porch (or are those mason bees?). I saw some cabbage white butterflies in March, just one at a time, and now there are a few more natives.

    I think the early blooms were caused by solar flares – too much of a coincidence and too many things bloomed out of time, and now we seem to be having a more normal spring. In fact, I saw wisteria blooming along 270 in March, an area facing west. Now it is blooming- but not reblooming – in St. Charles county.

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