good reads: pollen-stealing bees, thinking local for monarchs, and more
FROM MY READING LIST in recent days, the latest links include a range of topics from how certain bees are “pollen thieves,” why thinking local with milkweed is key to monarch health, pineapple lilies get a thumb’s-up (and so does my friend Alana Chernila).
some bees are not pollinators but ‘pollen thieves’
COUNT THIS among things I didn’t know: Some bees visiting flowers are not actually doing the job of pollinating, but are in fact “pollen thieves.” A study from the University of Stirling in the UK, reported in Science Daily, reveals the details.
IT WAS THRILLING to hear the familiar voice of friend and cookbook author Alana Chernila on NPR, specifically on “The Splendid Table,” talking about best intentions for cooking, and living. Plus: Get recipes for Alana’s popovers (they’ll transform any meal) and stuffed winter squash (think: Thanksgiving side dish). Find Alana anytime at her website.
to help monarchs, think local with that milkweed
‘PLANT MILKWEED” is a bit too vague a directive, it turns out, if you want to support monarch butterflies to the fullest. New research explains that for best monarch health, not just any milkweed, but specifically local sources of it, plus attention to the soil it’s planted in, are key factors. Catch up on findings from scientists at Emory University and the University of Michigan on the Wildlife Society website.
industry validation: eucomis in pots get thumbs-up
I’VE BEEN GROWING pineapple-lily bulbs in pots for many years, adding to my collection as more varieties reach the market. I had to smile to see that now my addiction has been validated by esteemed plantsman Allan Armitage, in the trade publication “Greenhouse Grower.” Now you can take it from not just me but the much more famous professor and author: Order some for spring delivery.