First gregarious bees, then berries and now the onslaught of Japanese beetles

The entry of Summer in the garden was a-buzzin’ with docile, but abundant ground-nesting bees known as Colletes inaequalis.  Hundreds of females built their sand castle nests in villages in and around the corn patch and adjacent field while males buzzed and swarmed and circled above them through most of June.  Then the first few quarts of Bluecircle black raspberries ripened and were enjoyed immediately – only a cup or two found their way to the freezer.  The swarms of mosquitos that usually pester the picker of wild raspberries were absent from these trellised bushes at first, but as the 4th of July weekend approached an army or two arrived to celebrate the arrival of Chicago visitors to the lake.  At least this year poison ivy, the other hallmark of wild berry patches, has not made its way into the rows.  Fireworks frenzy, as the 4th has now become, appeared to wake the Japanese beetles from their pupae and they marched straight for the succulent new growth leaves of the grape vines.  A precautionary spraying of the vines diverted the first wave to other targets like flowering weeds but today a counterattack with the pesticide sprayer was required.

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