Busy Bush
Location:  North Middle Tennessee
August 3, 2010 1:12 pm
Hi Daniel,
I don’t know the name of these bushes they are a nuisance. Grow almost everywhere have thorns that tend to break off in your hand, these flowers (sweet smelling) are followed by berries (black) that stain. That being said right now they are the main attraction in the neighborhood for all sorts of insects. Bees, wasp, flies, moths, butterflies are all competing for the nectar. I have spent hours standing in one spot photographing all sorts of critters. (I do keep my distance cause the bees are ”packing heat”) However they all seem to just have eating on their minds, haven’t noticed any agressive behavior from any of them toward each other or me for sticking my nose into their business. One absence I have notice from the nectar feast is ”Honey Bees” they are all but extinct around here. I realize this is off topic but I found all of the bush’s activity interesting. Thanks for all you do and have a wonderful day.

Monarch and Bumble Bees

Hi Richard,
What, pray tell, is “off topic” in your letter?  We find it to be spot on topic.  We hope one of our readers can provide the name of this plant, because though you have provided some of its negative qualities, it seems the benefits of providing a bounty of nectar for insects and probably berries for birds would make it a very desirable plant for nature enthusiasts who populate their gardens with plants that will attract wildlife.  Among the visitors you have documented are a Monarch Butterfly, a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Bumble Bees and an Ailanthus Webworm Moth.  We are sad to hear of the demise of the local Honey Bee population.  We can only hope that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) will run its course and the surviving bees will have the genetic resistance to make a comeback.

Tiger Swallowtail, Ailanthus Webworm and other pollinators

Note to Readers: If you recognize this plant, please provide a name.

August 5, 2010 10:04 am
Daniel:  I wonder if the thorny, flowering plant with Tiger Swallowtail and Ailanthus Webworm Moth on it could be
Hercules’ Club (Aralia spinosa) or (less likely) Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridum).
Dave Fallow in Madison Wisconsin

Hello Daniel,
I never though it would be of any interest to anyone but since you posted it I became corrious and did a bit of internet searching. The bush is a :”Devil’s Walkingstick” or “Aralia spinosa L.” here is a link to the plant:
Thank you for all you do and have a wonderful day.

Location: Tennessee

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