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Jun 12, 2020 9:48 AM CST
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Concord nc
I have a small sunny courtyard in the end unit condo. I have lots of flowers Of many colors and varieties,

potted and in ground. Ground cover, vines,grasses, Two small dogs that don't chase the one lizard, had a garden spider last year, saw a small green frog This year. I have lots of worms where I dig. I water from a hose when needed. Question: saw 1 butterfly this spring, no bees, no birds, a few wasps. Vegetables bloom but does not set. I haven't ever used insecticide, some miracle grow. What is going on here?
Jun 12, 2020 10:12 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Just because you have flowers in no way guarantees bees or butterflies.
I have a feeling that if you are fenced in, the breezes blowing through your yard area are very limited.
The odor to attract pollinators has trouble being picked up by these guys. Plus a lot of these guys locate by sight as well as scent.

I recently read that butterflies prefer yellows, oranges through reds and bees prefer pinks, lavenders and purples. Whether or not that is true doesn't really matter but what it does tell me that they do indeed locate food sources by sight as well as fragrance.
Are your flowers visible from 50-100 yards off?

Birds don't typically eat nectar or pollen so flowers don't attract them. You need feeders and a bird bath!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill Jun 12, 2020 10:15 AM Icon for preview
Jun 12, 2020 10:32 AM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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Jun 12, 2020 10:55 AM CST
Lockhart, Texas (Zone 8b)
Greenhouse Hydroponics Region: Texas
First, I would take a walk around the area and see if I saw the expected bees working flowers. I would think it unusual if I never saw any bees where there were a lot of flowers. Bees can forage out for a very long distance and direct other members of the colony to what they find. And colors are there targets. (We can't wear bright clothing around the ancient oak tree beside the house because they attract the bees living in it. Even my orange Kabota tractor brings them in to check it.)

I guess I would try to find out if anyone else of the condo management is aggressive with pesticides. A lot of people simply don't understand the value of bees and that they have no reason to attack anything not threatening the colony.

As to birds, perhaps there is nothing in your garden to attract them. Usually, a bird feeder with food appropriate to the area will not go many days before birds find it. Doesn't have to be fancy. Mine is just a clay bottom pan from a flower pot. Although right now and right here (Central Texas), the birds who used to mob my feeder ignore it and find plenty of wild food. But a bird bath is always in season. So I have stopped feeding. They will only find more to eat as the fields around me produce corn and sorghum. They might well be still going for feeders where you are.

Read up on feeding birds in your area and be ready in the fall. Around here, I find black sunflower seed to be appreciated by all. Slightly messy, though. They throw the hulls around.

I can't say much about the vegetables, except that you may need to check up on the varieties and see that they are appropriate for your region. For instance, I can't get a lot of tomatoes to fruit. It simply gets too hot to soon for them to set. I have to find special heat tolerant varieties.

And you may need to fertilize or alter your fertilizer. Most places have state labs that will analyze soil for you and tell you how to amend it. And it might just be related to the lack of bees and butterflies. In order to set fruit, plants need to be pollinated. If you never see any sort of insect servicing your plants, that may well be the problem.

There are also plants specifically suited to attract butterflies. But most are migratory so will only be around parts of the year.

Also look up mason bees and the simple houses you can offer them. They are solitary bees and readily use houses that are collections of tubes or tubelike holes. They even try to use my scrap pile of irrigation tubing. They use the tubes to store pollen (which makes them good pollinators) and then lay an egg that will develop over the winter and emerge in spring. Very cheap and easy way to have bees living in your yard. Probably getting late for this year, but you can ask your area ag extension agent and be ready with houses next spring.

You can also feed hummingbirds, and that will help get them to notice your flowers and vegetable blooms.
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