Matt Bearup

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since Nov 25, 2018
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Recent posts by Matt Bearup

Joy Oasis wrote:Wow, I like the idea of housing for the beneficial wasps. Do they like tunnels to be facing sideways or up? How long? Maybe I could just tie up a bundle of dried hollow stems?



My nesting holes are horizontally oriented but I think the wasps are accepting of whatever opportunities present themselves. Drill the holes as deep as you can without going all the way through leaving a solid back to them. Drill into dry wood with a sharp bit at high rpm to ensure a smooth splinterless hole. Drill various hole diameters small and large, if competition for holes is high the smaller bees and wasps will be evicted from the larger holes and move to a hole size they can defend. My aphid wasps have been very happy using holes 3 inches deep. This year I picked up some specialty small diameter long drill bits so now I can drill 1/8 inch holes 5&5/8 inches deep I will see if this makes a difference. They will use hollow stems as well or even excavate their own chambers from pithy stems. So mix it up and see what works best for you.
4 months ago
Waiting out the cold days of winter dreaming of spring. Thought you might enjoy some of my photography.
4 months ago
Aphid wasps will swoop right in there and steal aphids right from under the ants. Encourage them by providing wood nesting blocks with 2mm to 4mm holes drilled in them, they will also use pithy stems that have been pruned leaving an exposed end that they can excavate. They nest in tiny cavities similarly to mason and leafcutter bees but instead of pollen and nectar they stock their holes with paralyzed aphids for their young to eat. Learn more about them here https://bugguide.net/node/view/13573
4 months ago
Wasp from the Subfamily Pemphredoninae commonly called aphid wasps can be attracted to the garden by providing them with wooden nesting blocks with 2mm to 4mm diameter holes drilled in them. Drill the holes as deep as possible without going all the way through shallow holes may get used but deeper is better. They nest in a similar fashion as mason and leafcutter bees sectioning off and stocking their tiny holes with several aphids for their larvae to eat.
4 months ago
Phacelia tanacetifolia and caryopteris are both top tier bee plants. They both have beautiful purple/blue pollen that stands out from the normal yellows and oranges you often see in your pollen frames. Hysopus officinalis, salvia nemorosa, creeping thyme, basil, chives the purple onion and white garlic variety, and gaillardia all make my list of excellent honey bee plants that I have grown.
4 months ago

Ken W Wilson wrote:Last summer Japanese beetles moved into this area.  Their worst damage was to what would have been a great crop of peaches on a mature tree. They actually left pits hanging on the tree. There was also a much larger beetle, bigger than a Junebug but not many. There were so many beetles that it was a little scary trying to save a few peaches. They didn’t bite,  but I wasn’t sure that they couldn’t. If I shook the main branch, they’d all buzz me at once. Thousands.

I expect them to be worse next year. Does anyone have suggestions?



Milky Spore is a bacterium that is ingested by the grub stage of the beetles it kills the grub and generates even more of the lethal bacteria in the surrounding soil. Harmless to anything not a beetle grub. http://stgabrielorganics.com/product/milky-spore
4 months ago
Teasel stems are hollow and work great! Wear gloves to rub off the little thorns, they break off easily but they can poke you. Cut on a bandsaw or use a dremel to prevent crushing them.
4 months ago
Wasp from the Subfamily Pemphredoninae commonly called aphid wasps can be attracted to the garden by providing them with wooden nesting blocks with 2mm to 4mm diameter holes drilled in them. Drill the holes as deep as possible without going all the way through shallow holes may get used but deeper is better. They nest in a similar fashion as mason and leafcutter bees sectioning off and stocking their tiny holes with several aphids for their larvae to eat.
4 months ago