Saturday, March 13, 2010

Flies as pollinators?

Ugh!! the dreaded Fly.... It's one of those horrible set of sequences as you watch in slow motion that little black speck of bio-hazard fly off of your dog poo and land on the rim of your drink. Gross!! I have had some bad experiences with flies. Where I live in GA, it seems like ripe breeding grounds for those nasty guys. One year I put out one of those yellow fly catchers that attract flies and in one week it was full with gross flies big and small. The only idea I had about flies was the fact that they rummaged through anything rotting to include dead people; for which I have had my fair share of witnessing. So it's to no wonder why I'm confused that flies are in the beneficial bug category with regards to our gardens. The reality is, that all flies are not the same. You may say 'DUH!!" but when someone says the word *fly* I am willing to bet that the black little hairy critter with wings, that seems to enjoy grooming himself of the filth he has just lusted in, will come to mind. But imagine that, Flies as pollinators. Last growing season I would often ask my wife if she has witnessed any honey bees and as I recall it was only a few times that she would see them. But many of the plants that we grew last year like the squash and melons, needed pollinators to produce fruit. I didn't know it at the time, but my garden was flooded with all little types of helpful flying bugs which I later found out were flies that were pollinating my garden along with pollen bees and butterflies. (Click here to find What native bees are in your area).

Maintaining a garden is good busy work. Your always doing something to improve your crop, trying to identify problems if they occur; when you leave for work your wondering if your seeds are growing, if your flowers are setting and most of all, if they are being pollinated. Many of us would like to think that the busy honey bee is responsible for all this. But nature has given her a a lot of help. I don't think I will ever be an advocate of that other fly. But I will defiantely start doing what I can to set up an environment where My vegetable garden attracts all pollinators. (For more on Flies as pollinators, click here)


The Beneficial Bee said...

Cool! I was just thinking about this the other day as I watched flies crawling over my pluot tree. I could only see one or two honey bees, so I was thankful for the annoying flies that were doing all of the pollinating.

ATW said...

BB-I find it interesting how all this works. Last season, my dwarf butternut produced some amazing flowers and set off some strange sweet smell. I could smell it as I walked around the garden and noticed that small little flies. They looked like fruit flies. They were swarming in and out of the flowers. I had to raise a brow on that one.

Ruralrose said...

This is a very interesting post, you never disappoint. Peace