Butterfly in clover
Photo Credit:
Kathy Wiederholt

Pollinator Progress

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I’ve been managing the clover in and near the CREC orchard - letting it start blooming at different times, and there is a plethora of blooms this year. The big, yellow, Eastern (or Canada) Swallowtail butterflies and orange Monarch butterflies are nectaring in the clover all day. And now there are cabbage, painted lady, red admiral and other butterflies as well. There are just a few black swallowtail butterflies, as well. 

Lots and lots of bees! Honey bees and several species of bumble bees, like: two-spotted bees, brown belted bees, American bees, tri-colored bees and Hunt bees.  Wild bees are in the big purple catmint plants in the fruit and some new wildflowers I put out, and in the flower beds near the offices, too.

The managed honey bee hives to the west of the orchard did awesome this year!  Several of them were up to eight boxes high.  This is all quite an improvement over the last few years of drought. Due to winter conditions, there was generally no clover across the whole state in 2022. It’s a big turn-around this year.

Kathy Wiederholt
Fruit Project Manager