Bee Balm with Insects

During these last days of July our blooming bee balm plants (Monarda fistulosa) have been a hive of activity for insects and an occasional hummingbird. The hummingbirds were too skittish to capture in a photo, but the insects were too busy to notice my presence. Two-spotted Bumblebees When the sun is out two-spotted bumble bees […]

Peonies

Peonies are beautiful garden flowers that bloom for a short time in late spring and early summer in temperate climates. Two peonies we planted last year in north-central Minnesota came through with gorgeous flowers in late June. Peonies are known as the “king of flowers” in China, where they have been highly appreciated for over […]

Gardenia and Star Jasmine

Eastern Band-Winged Hover Fly on Gardenia bloom The “Insect ID” app identifies the insect on this gardenia bloom as a Eastern Band-winged hover Fly, Ocyptamus fascipennis. Hoverflies have mimicked the body shape of wasps and hornets, but are actually harmless. They are beneficial to garden plants because they feed on aphids and serve as pollinators.