Beggarstick (Bidens alba)

I can’t understand why Beggarsticks are the least liked wildflower for many people. Ya, it’s true that it grows without boundaries but that is what it’s supposed to do. 

Thankfully I have a husband that maintains our landscape to keep it manageable. 

Hey, he has always told me that he enjoys working in the yard, so why put a dent in a good thing? Right? ;0)

Anyhoo, Beggarsticks or Spanish needle is the most beneficial flowering plant we have ever had in our garden. Why do you ask? The diversity of insects!

A Sweat bee gathering nectar from Beggarstick flowers. | Photo by Alice Mary Herden

We have butterflies, moths, crab spiders, orchard spiders, sweat bees (yes, they do sting), and bumble bees. If you by chance take a moment or two gazing at all those insects visiting the dense beautiful array of Beggarsticks, you might even see a Conura wasp!

As unique and small as they are, like small, 3mm small, these are parasitic wasps. That means they will deposit their eggs into the eggs and/or larvae of other insects. From what research I was able to view via- Google Scholar and good ole’ Google search for some invasive species of insects the Conura wasp can be a good biocontrol agent. 

Conura Wasp | Photo by Alice Mary Herden

There are over 300 species of Chalicid wasp… just a small portion of the 10 quintillion insects on this planet. 

Here are some links that I found about the Conura Wasp: 

Chalcidoidea 101

Chalcidoidea (nhm.ac.uk)

Genus Conura – BugGuide.Net

Link about Spanish Neddle: Beggarticks – Florida Wildflower Foundation (flawildflowers.org)

I do like insects. They are fashionable, stylish, and sometimes just downright scary looking! I often ask myself while gazing upon these strange-looking creatures- Why? Why do you look like that? Why is that part of your body shaped like that or why do you have these sharp-looking hairs?

I have come to the conclusion that in the far away galaxy there is a building called Species for Planets and within that building is a huge conference room where an array of creative and extraordinary minds meet every other decade to design new insects. And that my friends, is how insects are created!

Be safe in your travels!

2 replies

  1. I’m sitting in my recliner, pulling about 3 dozen little stick-on seeds off my clothing, laughing, and reading your blog! I call them beggars lice, but I think, they’re probably the same!

    God bless!

    Like

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