Tuesday, April 10, 2012
American Plum Faunal Visitors
The American Plums are flowering much earlier than usual with our warm spring weather.
If you don't have an American Plum in your landscape then you're missing out on the extremely fragrant, showy flowers AND providing an important nectar and pollen source for early emerging bees, flies and butterflies.
American Plum is a wonderful small tree, we have overhanging wires just behind where this one is planted and at its mature height (around 15 feet) it won't impede on the wires.
"Adults are active in the spring, when they build and provision nests. The eggs complete development to fifth instars by early summer; then they spin cocoons and enter a dormant stage. Pupation occurs by late summer, and adult eclosion occurs a month later. Adults hibernate in their cocoons, and emerge in the spring." (BugGuide.net)
Orchard Bees are being managed as an alternative to honey bees for fruit crop pollination.
Two types of flies were visiting the Plum flowers including this large Flower or Syrphid Fly - a very convincing bee mimic.
The American Plums in my yard should be flowering for another week or so and I can't wait to observe what other fauna will be attracted to the flowers.