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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Native Bees and the Color Blue
Here is an interesting find in Oregon. OSU entomologist Sujaya Rao found quite by accident that our native bees are attracted to blue. The day after jars were set out with different colored lids—red, yellow, blue and green—to trap Asian lady beetles, she found the blue lidded jars were full of bumblebees. The area was devoid of flowers.
After contacting Bill Stephen, a world expert on native and solitary bees, Rao and Stephen experimented with different colored lids. They found that no matter what part of the state they were in, our native bees consistently went for the blue. Now there are new experiments using blue flags in crop fields to see if the blue will attract more native pollinators. Considering the recent problems with declining numbers of honeybees, this is important work.
by Debbie Teashon