Beneficial Insects…Who are the Good Guys?

Beneficial Insects…Who are the Good Guys?

Organic Pest & Disease Control
[caption id="attachment_1086" align="alignleft" width="300"] "Assassin" bug eating a potato beetle larvae.[/caption] Most people think only of pests when they think of insects. But, most insects found in gardens do not feed on or harm plants. The typical Oklahoma backyard contains hundreds of species of insects, yet only a fraction can even be observed because many are microscopic and/or hidden below ground or within plant tissue. Most are just "passing through" or have very innocuous habits. Others actually feed on and destroy pest species, while others help decompose plant and animal matter, or act as plant pollinators. Beneficial insects can be categorized broadly as either predators or parasites. During development in both adult and immature stages, predators actively search out and consume their prey, while insect parasites develop in or on…
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Local Extension Offices

Community
There is a page at GardenSimply to help you find your local extension office. It has been a good resource for years, but due to a comment on an article posted in Death of the Honey Bee our poster shared a website that goes oh so much further, not only helping you find your local extension office, but an an interactive learning environment delivering researched knowledge from the smartest land-grant university minds across America. eXtension is unlike any other search engine or information-based website. It's a space where university content providers can gather and produce new educational and information resources on wide-ranging topics. Because it's available to students, researchers, clinicians, professors, as well as the general public, at any time from any Internet connection, eXtension helps solve real-life problems in…
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How are beans pollinated?

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="129" caption="Beans are self pollinating"][/caption] Do you want to save your own bean seeds for growing next year? Do you want to re-grow the same fabulous beans next year that you grew this year? It may not be as easy to do with any other plant than the "bean bunch"... ya know why? Beans are self-pollinating and rarely pollinated by insects. Bean flowers release pollen the night before the flowers open. The next day, as the flowers open, the anthers brush against the stigma and pollination occurs. So, even if you see insects on your open bean flowers, you can be fairly sure that pollination happened before the visitors arrived. For this reason, it is possible to grow bean varieties close together with little worry of cross-pollination…
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Death of the Honey Bees

Bees, Farm Animals, Food Supply, Organic Pest & Disease Control
This is a reprint of a comprehensive article by Brit Amos. It is a sobering essay on the effects modern technology and biological chemistry is having on our food supply. GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North] America's crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize.[1] This essay will discuss the arguments and seriousness that affects the massive deaths and the decline of Bee colonies in North America. As well, it…
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