Thanks to pollinator gardens, insect-watching has become a popular pastime

By Becky Griffin, University of Georgia

Move over bird-watchers! Backyard insect-watching has become a popular pastime thanks to the public’s increased interest in pollinator health and habitats.

Gardeners enjoy seeing insects visit their gardens. Learning about the types of the bees and the wing colors of migrating butterflies can enrich the pollinator experience in the home garden. Continue reading

Pollinator Field Day September 8 in Salisbury, NC

Attend the first-ever Pollinator Field Day to learn about honeybees and native bees/pollinators, plants and habitat for pollinators, protecting pollinators from pesticides, and much more.

Audience: Farmers; Beekeepers; Soil&Water Conservation District Supervisors and Staff; Extension Agents; Urban Planners; Landscapers and Landscape Architects; Master Gardeners; Nurserymen/Greenhouse Growers.

When: Saturday, September 8, 1-5 PM

Where: Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrill’s Ford Road, Salisbury, NC 28147 Continue reading

Register Now for the Integrated Pest Management Pollinator Habitat Promotion Webinar

The Environmental Protection Agency is offering a free webinar titled “Integrated Pest Management: Strategies for Pollinator Habitat Promotion and Conservation in Agricultural Areas” on August 28, 2018, from 1 –2:30 pm ET. This webinar is tailored for growers, pesticide applicators, agricultural land managers, and other interested stakeholders who work in crop production.

Our presenter will be Dr. Allan Felsot, professor and extension specialist from Washington State University. The presentation will cover land management topics such as cultural management practices, bio-economics, and integrated insect and weed management.  Continue reading

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

Become a champion for pollinators!

The Michigan Pollinator Initiative team is excited to announce the launch of our new online course! Pollinator Champions is a free, self-paced course offered at Michigan State University. The course is packed full of videos, articles, and fun activities to guide you through the amazing world of pollinators and pollination. Anyone with an internet connection can enroll. You do not have to be an MSU student or faculty to participate.

Everyone is welcome to learn about pollinators for free, but for a small contribution, you can also receive a certificate and materials to help you give your own presentations about pollinators. Help us spread the word as an MSU Certified Pollinator Champion! Continue reading

USDA, NIFA Announce Investments in Pollinator Health Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 14 grants totaling approximately $10 million for research to help sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation’s food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“One-third of all U.S. crop production requires pollination by animals – primarily honey bees, but also wasps, flies, butterflies, moths, beetles and bats,” said Acting NIFA Director Tom Shanower. “Recent declines in both managed and wild pollinators are of paramount importance to our nation’s food security and the vitality of natural resources.”  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.