If you want to hear some off Dr. Joseph M. Patt you may download this 1.5 meg. .ra file A small part of the talkto play this .ra file you will need the RealAudio Player.if you don't all ready have it
The talk in the Nature farm barn by Dr. Joseph M.. Patt was very informative. He had video and slides that really helped make his point, so if you ever have a chance to hear him talk go. The title of the talk "plant them and they will come" and how farmers that give up a little bit of their land to flowers will reap the rewards of having beneficial insects. Most folks have a very simplistic idea of how things work thinking that pest eat the plants and beneficial insects eat the pests but there is so much more to it than that. These beneficials are not just carnivores they are really omnivores and feed also on honey dew and nectar and pollen from flowers. Dr. Joe had one slide of a lace wing larva feeding on pollen and nectar and to look at this larva one would think that it would eat only bugs but one can see by the slide they also need flowers even in this larva state. They are not like lions but more like bears (omnivorous)
If we want to manage these beneficial insects on our farm we have to pay attention to this aspect of their life histories. Intercroping with flowers is a way to see to it these beneficials have a supply of nector and pollon.
Dr. Joesph M. Patt has given me permission to post two papers on this subject 1. Foraging success of parasitoid wasps on flowers: Interplay of insect morphology, floral architecture and searching behavior. and 2. IMPACT OF STRIP-INSECTARY INTERCROPPING WITH FLOWERS ON CONSERVATION BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF THE COLORADO POTATO BEETLE