4 August 1998
Volume 6: no. 3
Butterfly gardens should be at their prime right now. The garden we planted here at the Clay Lyle entomology building on MSU campus has really produced the flowers, a big turn around from the `Yucca (yucky) plants' we had on the patio this spring. We did have some problems getting caterpillars to survive to go through their cycle because of the high population of mocking birds which visit the garden on a daily basis. We finally placed a large plastic owl overlooking the garden and slowed them down some, but they still sneak in under Mr. Owl, while he is asleep. We are going to try silhouettes of cats next to keep this unique form of `beneficial pest management' from devouring the immature forms of butterflies and moths which come to our garden. There will be no attempt to stop the preying mantises, spiders, and myriad wasps which have taken up residence. The caterpillars and adult butterflies will just have to take their chances with those. We have also had to make the rule for people, you may come and look, but please don't `catch!'
The following is a list of plants we placed in the butterfly garden this spring:
butterfly bush lantana zinnia petunia nicotina pentas impatiens verbena asylum dill (larval food) parsley (larval food) soybeans (larval food) milkweed (larval food) tomatoes (larval food) soybeans (larval food)
dill (larval food)
parsley (larval food)
soybeans (larval food)
milkweed (larval food)
tomatoes (larval food)
soybeans (larval food)
The lantana, butterfly bush, and zinnia are doing their job in attracting beautiful swallowtails and other butterflies, but we have had some trouble getting some of the other plants to expand and fill their beds as promised, in fact our thumbs turned brown when it came to verbena and nicotina, it all died. The larval food plants presently have a number of swallowtail and hornworm caterpillars on them. We are looking to expand the garden into some more `exotic' native plants next year. If you come to MSU come by and see our first attempt at a butterfly garden.
Camp was great this year! We had 65 campers at Percy Quin State Park. Many of them went away with a number of new specimens and some vastly improved collections. The highlight of the camp once more was the `black lights' with night collecting and the Insect Olympics. Three MSU Entomology Club members came down to `direct' the games. They did an outstanding job. Thanks to Wendy Platt, Joel Smith and Glynn Hankins for volunteering their time during a busy time of year for them. Mark your camping calendars now for 1999! The camp is set for Wall Doxey State Park, near Holly Springs, MS on June 6-10, 1999.
We have an number of other activities of which 4-Hers and leaders should be aware. The 1999 Bee Essay Contest dates and rules have been announced. These are available in each county office or you may give me a call to get them. The assignment this year is unique and will take some time and thought to get into:
- The assignment for the 1999 Essay will be to create a Lesson Plan and Activity Sheet to teach 3rd Grade elementary school students about bees and beekeeping.
The Lesson Plan should cover the roles of the three castes of honey bees in the colony and one other aspect of bees and beekeeping, such as, but not limited to, pollination, honey production, uses of honey, or apitherapy. The Activity Sheet could be in the form of a crossword puzzle, a word-search puzzle, a drawing on which students label a bee's body parts, a connect the dots puzzle, etc. The Activity Sheet must be the entrant's original work, and it must be suitable for photocopying, since the ABF hopes to share these with teachers on request.
Please make note: the DEADLINE for entry into the contest this year is DECEMBER 1, 1998. All entries must be postmarked on or before that date.
The award for the winning
essays are pretty good.
Awards: Cash prizes to the 3 Top Winners:
1st Place -------- $250.00
2nd Place -------- $100.00
3rd Place -------- $50.00
Each State Winner receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.
In addition to the national awards, listed above, the Mississippi Beekeepers Association also gives awards to the top 3 Mississippi winners.
Contact your local county agent to get the rules and get busy on your essay. All 4-Hers are eligible to enter the contest.
Dr. Michael R. Williams
Entomology & Plant Pathology
Mississippi State, MS 39762-9775
phone - 601-325-2085
home - 601-323-5699
FAX - 601-325-8837