UK research shows urban gardens can aid in pollinator conservation

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A recent study conducted by University of Kentucky Department of Entomology researchers found that monarch butterflies and various bee species quickly find and use milkweeds in small urban gardens. They showed that monarchs and bees have preferences for the type and size of the plants.

“Our goal was to demonstrate to gardeners and homeowners that they can participate in meaningful pollinator conservation in their own backyard,” said Adam Baker, UK graduate student in the College of the Agriculture, Food and Environment. Continue reading

This week is National Pollinator Week!

Eleven years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

Find out more about events in your area or what the event is all about at pollinator.org.

Monarch Conservation webinar: milkweed seed collection

Monarchs need milkweed! Collecting native milkweed seed is a cost-effective way to get local ecotype seeds for use in restoration projects. In this webinar, you’ll get an overview of milkweed seed collection, including a primer on native plants, tips and tricks for harvesting, storing and growing milkweed seed, and how you can participate in the Monarch Watch Milkweed Market to contribute to milkweed planting on a large scale. If you want to learn about how begin or improve your milkweed seed collection efforts, this is the webinar for you!

This webinar is sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Continue reading

Trees for Bees: Pollinator Habitats in Urban Forests

You are invited to attend the latest Live Webinar sponsored by: Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

Title: Trees for Bees: Pollinator Habitats in Urban Forests Continue reading

All Bugs Good or Bad on Pollinators June 1

Join us for the presentation on Friday, June 1 at 2:00 PM Eastern time.  Texas AgriLife IPM Program Specialist Molly Keck will speak on ‘How to Attract Pollinators to Our Yard.’  Last year in the series, we met many of our native pollinators.  This year we will learn the fundamentals for creating  a pollinator oasis in our landscape.

Please help us get the word out and join us live for the presentation by clicking on the webinar link (https://auburn.zoom.us/j/209793415 ) up to 15 minutes before the presentation is set to begin. Note: The above URL might change. When it’s time for the webinar to begin, please visit this page to get the correct URL. Continue reading

Planning for Pollinators on the Farm, Workshop in Clemson, SC

Please join Apiculture Specialist, Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda, for a discussion on the importance of pollinators, and considerations for encouraging them to become a natural and permanent resource on the farm.  Student Organic Farm manager, David Robb, will give a tour of the farm and provide information on practices currently in place to encourage and support pollinators.  Plenty of time will be provided for questions. 

Thursday May 10th, Clemson University Student Organic Farm, Clemson, SC

Click here for more information.

Build native bee nesting sites to attract pollinating bees to your landscape

By Josh Fuder, University of Georgia

When most people think about bees, honeybees and their hives of hexagonal, wax honeycombs come to mind. Unlike most bees, honeybees are social insects. Only 6 percent of bee species are social.

There are approximately 4,000 species of native bees in North America and 542 species live in Georgia. Native bees nest in the ground or in cavities, like hollow stems or bored holes in wood. According to the Xerces Society, only 250 female orchard mason bees are required to pollinate an acre of apples. This same task would typically require 15,000 to 20,000 forager honeybees. Continue reading