O is for Oak Aphids

Okay, folks, we know it’s a stretch, but we are downright desperate on some these letters. You’ve seen aphids your garden plants, like these…

Different aphids suck the juices of different plants, including oak leaves. Then the aphids exude their honeydew–a waste product–that is full of sugar. Apparently, there is a phenonema of bees swarming into oak trees during the dearth times of late summer.

They are desperate to find any source nectar…and are feeding on the aphid honeydew. (!)

Are you surprised? We were. You’d think we squirrels had hung out in trees enough to have witnessed this, but our sources cites oaks in Oregon–an extension office answered the question of why the oak was abuzz–and in Europe, where the oaks seem to have many, many different kinds aphids!

There we have it, oaks indirectly supply bees with nectar. I bet we have all learned something new today!

This honeybee was spotted resting on a Common Milkweed leaf–could she have been attracted to the aphids that also feed on milkweed? This will take some detective work!


Purchase plants and seeds from a known source that does not use pesticides / insecticides, particularly neonicotinoids. They are not safe for honeybees and native bees. Watch this bee researcher’s Ted Talk to learn more about bees, why they are dying and how you can help:

Marla Spivak: Why Bees Are Disappearing


2 thoughts on “O is for Oak Aphids

  1. Oooh, how interesting, I wonder if she was trying to get some of the honeydew from the aphids? If they look tired we are told to put some sugar water on a spoon so they can sip and get better – not honey as that can spread disease. Phenomenon is the singular of phenomena.

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