Pollinators also waiting for weather to warm up


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s been a slow spring for pollinators. The weather has been abnormally chilly since the second week of April, with brief interludes of warmth, like last weekend when the thermometer soared to near 80 degrees Saturday and the mid-70s on Sunday in central Ohio. However, this weekend will feel more like March than May.

Eastern bluebirds soaking in the sun while munching on food. (Photo: Ken Shenefield)

Bees are essential for the production of commercial fruits and vegetables, flitting about on bright and warm spring days to collect nectar, pollinating 70 out of 100 major crop species. Butterflies do their pollinating when flowers are open, while covering a greater range.

Eastern Comma butterfly. (Photo: Ken Shenefield)

Ohio State entomologist Dave Shetlar noted that “pollen is a major food for pollinators like bees. In the early spring, whenever the daytime temperatures get around 60 degrees, honeybees often become active and look for water and pollen.”

“Some of the earliest trees to bloom are maples and elm trees. Both can serve as major sources of pollen for spring-active bees. If you have been watching, the callery pears are also beginning to enter bloom. If you have gotten close to one of these trees in full bloom, it’s not a pleasant smell! This is because these pears are also trying to attract flies as agents of pollination!” said Shetlar.

Here are flowers in full bloom in Upper Arlington and Grandview. (Credit: Emily Keeler)

Lenten rose
Cherry tree
Magnolia tree

We are also continuing to find stink bugs inside our homes. Shetlar said these are the same ones who came inside last fall, much to our annoyance.

“Yes, most of the stink bugs that got into our homes entered in through roof vents and remained in cold dormancy. Whenever we get a warm day that can heat the attic up to about 60 degrees, the stinkers become active. Unfortunately, they never seem to be able to find out how to get back outside, so they often visit our living spaces,” said Shetlar.

There is no good way to get rid of the pests. “Not really, just crush and flush, or I simply pick them up and toss them back outside!” he recommended.

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