Absence of pollinators

We have had cold winter, followed by a wet cool spring here in Winnipeg. Temperatures well below normal, and almost record snow and rain.
Today I walked past a patch of fragrant, large patch of fruit flowers, in a warm south facing area. Possibly Saskatoon and Chokecherry bushes. There were no insects on those flowers - no bees of any type, no flies, nothing. Would this be due to the Spring conditions (I’ve seen very few insects on plants except ants), or will this just be a chance and pollinators will come later? I have seen numerous bees etc. on these flowers over several years.
Do any of you have any ideas/thoughts about this?

It can also be due to what kind of flowers they are. Although I haven’t looked into the plant names you mentioned, some flowers attract few to no insects while others are preferred. Later in the season, it’s also possible for some flowers to become depleted of nectar, after which they get few visiting insects.

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I can’t relate to your climate, because we’re in the opposite conditions here in New Mexico. Record low rain and snow - I think it hasn’t rained since early April, but I’ve lost track - so the pollinators are concentrated in gardens on the edge of wild spaces. Recently, there are plenty of bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and wasps in irrigated spaces and very little activity elsewhere.

Depending on when they started blooming, the flowers might not be “discovered” yet. My serviceberry bloomed so early here, that there wasn’t much activity either, but the other fruit trees slowly attracted more bees with each passing day.

I’m sure late cold has an effect on emergence, survival, and migration of Lepidoptera. It was so warm here that Mourning Cloaks were flying in February. Another factor is pesticide use or ground disturbance in the vicinity that could affect native bee populations.

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We’ve had a similar season here in Minnesota and I’ve seen plenty of pollinators out and about the past couple weeks. They might a bit behind, I know ours were. I can tell you from watching the pollinators in my yard over the years that a different times of day (or on different days) activity levels can range from tons to nearly nothing

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A little further north (Interlake region) from you, I did see some bees etc. on various Prunus spp and Ribes spp. However, I also notice far fewer insects (so far) this spring compared to last. Forecast seems to show a warming trend, without that terribly cold and wet weather we have been enduring. I will be interested to see if there is more pollinator activity during this warming.

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In coastal Oregon this spring it was similarly very cold and rainy. One of the rainiest on record. Bees and other pollinators would appear on warmer days, then disappear when it got colder again. The larger bumblebees would show up if it was over 45 F, but the smaller ones were pretty much absent unless the sun came out and it got above 55-60 F. If it was cool and sunny, many more insects would be active than if it was warmer but cloudy. Many insects would only be active briefly, and by mid afternoon bee activity would wane even if that was the warmest part of the day.

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I’m in NJ, everything is in full swing now but April was pretty cold here, took a bit longer than usual for a lot of the usual plants and bugs and herps to get going

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Welcome to the Forum!
I’ve also noticed far fewer insects, and the two Mourning Cloaks I have seen were about half the size of normal.

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The last 20 yrs here in New Mexico is apparently the driest it’s been in 1200 years. That’s scary … I’ve certainly never seen it this desiccated in my many years here. Our forests are either burning or getting set to burn. You have to wonder if we’re on a downward trend for moisture that might not be reversed, at least in my lifetime. Plants and pollinators are likely taking a beating, along with many other organisms. But I’m glad to hear that some parts of the continent are wet!

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I fear that California is facing the same.

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