Where are the butterflies and bees
I have created a butterfly garden and my perennials and annuals are in exploding with flowers and blooms. I am concerned though - I haven't seen many bees or butterflies and I was wondering if it is too early or if there is just a decline in the overall population. My garden includes both flowers and parsley, fennel, and dill for the caterpillars. Any ideas or suggestions thanks,
Prince George's County Maryland
We have had a cool, wet spring and the pollinators are not actively flying in cool cloudy weather. You may need to be patient. You did not mention how large your yard is. Perhaps they are focused on other sources of nectar elsewhere. if you continue to have pollen, nectar and water sources in your yard they will come. Usually the larger types of butterflies like swallow tails do not show up until mid July.
A less likely possibility is that your neighbors are using lots of broad spectrum residual chemicals in their yards, which could have an impact on what insects you see in yours. This is the reason that we do not recommend spraying or treating for mosquitoes or ticks, as there are many non-target casualties.
Here is our page on 'What Can I Do To Help Pollinators' http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/what-can-i-do-help-pollinators