Subject: Busy milkweeds
Location: Columbus, Ohio
July 12, 2016 1:04 pm
So the milkweeds seem to be the water cooler of the insect world. We have monarchs, Japanese beetles, tons of bees (honey and bumbles), and these red mating things! Their flowers are a pretty color and they really have a pleasant and strong scent. I’m rather surprised that these weren’t grown on purpose before the whole monarch decline. Any way, were enjoying the show and hope to get a caterpillar or two.
There is indeed quite a robust ecosystem surrounding milkweed, which is one of the reasons we created a Milkweed Meadow tag on our site recently. Monarch Butterflies need milkweed as it is the only food consumed by the Monarch Caterpillars. Milkweed Borers and Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars are other visitors you might expect in the future. Your mating Large Milkweed Bugs are another species that depends upon milkweed. Many pollinators like your Bumble Bees, numerous species of butterflies and many wasps including Tarantula Hawks (mostly in western states), while not dependent upon milkweed as a sole food, are attracted to the fragrant blooms that are laden with nectar. We will attempt to identify your Bumble Bee species.