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

Wildflowers Draw Native Pollinators to Georgia Apple Orchard, Yields Increase

In Southern SARE newsletter

Joe Dickey’s curiosity about bees nearly matches his affinity for birds.

“I’ve loved birds ever since I was a kid because of all their different colors,” said Dickey, as he watches yellow finches fly around three 100X100-foot wildflower plots at his farm, Mountain View Orchards. But it’s the bees that are capturing his attention lately, and the wildflowers were planted for them. Continue reading

Ten policies to benefit pollinators

Several pollinator experts from around the globe contributed to a document relating to recommended government policies for pollinators. The suggestions include several insights stated in a document published by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) last year. Authors recommend ten policies that would support and benefit pollinator populations. Continue reading

How to protect and enhance pollinators – new e-manual available

Extension specialists at Michigan State University and the Ohio State University have developed an online manual on how to protect and increase pollinators in the landscape. The book focuses on the North Central region, as is clear in the title, Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes for the US North Central Region, but it contains recommendations that pertain to any region. Continue reading

Registration open for tri-state Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop

By Carol Lea Spence, University of Kentucky

The Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop will be held April 2 in Madison, Indiana. The annual workshop provides an array of forestry- and wildlife-related educational opportunities to help woodland owners get the most from their properties.

Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Services of University of Kentucky, Purdue University and The Ohio State University, as well as the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association, the one-day workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EDT at Clifty Falls State Park. Purdue will host this year’s event. Continue reading

Discover How to Support Pollinators with Cover Crops

Cover crops can do a lot for your farm. To learn how they can support a thriving community of pollinators and beneficial insects—which in turn can improve crop quality and yield—check out Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education’s (SARE) new 16-page publication, Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects. Continue reading

UKAg research hopes to create more environmentally friendly lawns

Researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment are looking for ways for home lawns to give Mother Nature a helping hand.

Gregg Munshaw, UK turf extension specialist, and Dan Potter, UK entomology professor, are studying the benefits of white clover as a habitat for pollinators and as a way to reduce nitrogen fertilizer applications.

In the project about increasing pollinator habitats, they are looking at three different smaller varieties of white clover to see which attracts the most pollinators. Their research plots consist of only white clover, only turf and a mixture of turf and clover. Continue reading