May 11, 1994
An interesting behavior of several unrelated bees is to live underground in burrows and tunnels. Some of these, such as bumble bees, nest in pre-existing cavities made by rodents or small mammals. Others, like the ones discussed below, dig their own tunnels as a shelter for their offspring.
Color in the home landscape during the summer months is usually supplied by perennials and annuals. However, gardeners can add color to the green landscape by planting yellow- or gold-leaved shrubs. The yellow- or gold-leaved shrubs are excellent accent or specimen plants, but should be planted in moderation. Large numbers of yellow- or gold-leaved shrubs in the landscape become distracting.
In the eyes of many gardeners, impatiens are the perfect garden plant. They thrive in partial to heavy shade. The plants are virtually pest-free and provide continuous bloom throughout the summer. They are suited for mass planting in beds, window boxes, containers, hanging baskets, and as indoor flowering plants. Flowers are available in white and a variety of pinks, reds, oranges, and purples. Some are bicolored or starred, others have eyes. Yellow and blue varieties are on the horizon. Impatiens foliage is a beautiful dark green. Some varieties have bronze foliage.
This is the time to begin watching for yellowjackets, hornets and paper wasps that might be nesting in your landscape or on your house. Queens produced last summer are now establishing new nests "from scratch;" old nests are not reused.
Nests are still very small (the queen and a few daughters, at most) and easily controlled. Use "wasp and hornet" aerosol sprays for aerial colonies of paper wasps and hornets or insecticide dust for ground or wall nesting species such as yellowjackets.
This article originally appeared in the May 11, 1994 issue, p. 67.