Pollinators and the 2018 Farm Bill
Published on January 10, 2019
Although we did not get everything we wanted in the 2018 Farm Bill, the very good news is that pollinators are still a priority for the USDA and the Natural Resource Conservation Service—and formal commitments to support conservation efforts are now in effect for at least the next five years.
The Role of Honey Bees in Natural Areas – Webinar
Published on January 9, 2019
February 20th, 2019
12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Vicki Wojcik of the Pollinator Partnership and Rich Hatfield of the Xerces Society reprise the popular talks they gave at the 2018 Natural Areas Conference in October. Vicki will speak on “Flora Resource Competition Between Honey Bees and Wild Bees: Is There Clear Evidence and Can We Guide Management and Conservation?” and Rich will speak on “Honey Bees in the Pollination Networks of Natural Areas? — An Overview and Best Management Practices.”
Click here for more information and to register.
Pollinator Best Practices Summit 2019 – St. Anthony, MN
Published on December 18, 2018
March 7th, 2019
8:00 AM – 12:30 PM
St. Anthony, MN
This comprehensive summit is packed full of useful and practical knowledge, with an emphasis on innovative restoration. Sarah Foltz Jordan of the Xerces Society will share Herbicide-free restoration success stories and the latest on pollinator conservation. Karin Jokela (Xerces/NRCS) will talk about Seed mix design for pollinators. We can’t wait to see you at this amazing annual event.
Click here for more information and to register.
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) Annual Conference – Ames, IA
January 17th – 19th, 2019
We are thrilled to present three Xerces sessions at the PFI conference this year: Why IPM matters in corn and soybeans, led by Thelma Heidel Baker; Installing pollinator habitat starting from seedlings, led by Sarah Foltz Jordan and farm-partner Jon Judson, and Interseeding to increase wildflower diversity in grasslands, led by Rae Powers and Sarah Nizzi. Also- be sure to visit our booth throughout the conference for a wide variety of pollinator conservation resources.
Click here for more information and to register.
Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – December 2018
Published on December 17, 2018
December’s featured staff hail from Iowa and Minnesota, and have been making significant impacts in their respective states by educating farmers and other members of the public, helping to restore and build new habitat, and pushing for policies that support pollinators and other beneficial insects.
Where Do Pollinators Go in the Winter?
Published on December 10, 2018
As the leaves and temperatures drop, it might be tempting to forget about your pollinator garden until spring. But don’t call it quits just yet! While it may seem like the bees have vanished for the year, they haven’t actually gone anywhere.
Wisconsin Fruit and Vegetable Conference – Wisconsin Dells, WI
January 28th – 29th, 2019
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Join Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner & NRCS Partner Biologist with the Xerces Society, at the Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference at Wisconsin Dells. This three-day conference provides educational programming for growers of fresh produce including apples, berries, grapes, and vegetables. Karin will be giving two separate talks about creating on-farm habitat for pollinators and beneficial insects. The first will be geared toward an apple-grower audience, and the second will be oriented towards berry growers.
Click here for more information and to register for the conference.
Supporting Pollinators and Beneficial Insects on Your Farm – St. Paul, MN
January 26th, 2019
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Continuing Education and Conference Center
St. Paul, MN
Join Karin Jokela, Farm Bill Conservation Planner & NRCS Partner Biologist with the Xerces Society, at the annual Emerging Farmers Conference – an event that serves to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses. This innovative conference focuses primarily on the needs and interests of farmers of color and immigrant farmers, and supports their contributions to local economic development and building healthy communities. Karin and Elaine Evans (University of Minnesota) will be presenting on habitat development for pollinators and beneficial insects.
Click here for more information and to register.
Farmscaping for Pollination, Pest Management, and Additional Income – Hyattsville, MD
Published on December 6, 2018
January 19th, 2019
3:15 PM – 4:45 PM
(Full Conference January 17th – 19th)
College Park Marriott Hotel
Join Nancy Adamson of the Xerces Society and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for this session at the Future Harvest 20th Anniversary Conference to learn ways to better support the bees and other wildlife that help ensure abundant harvests, keep our ecosystems healthy, enrich our communities, and potentially add to your farm’s revenue stream. Native shrubs, trees, and wildflowers; cover crops; and annual flowers support pollination and pest management on farms and in home gardens. Besides vital pollen, nectar, and shelter supporting bees, butterflies, and other wildlife, plant borders can provide crucial watershed protection, plus additional income with nuts, berries, cut flowers, or ornamental cuttings. Visit with Nancy in the trade-show area, too!
Click here for more information and to register.
Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – November 2018
Published on December 3, 2018
November’s featured staff hail from Minnesota, Indiana, and California, and have been conducting training and outreach events, helping General Mills to implement their plan to plant 3,300 acres of pollinator habitat, and monitoring farm habitat plantings in the San Joaquin Valley.
A Shifting Climate Creates Winners and Losers
Published on November 27, 2018
To mitigate the impacts of climate change we need to increase the amount of high-quality and resilient habitat everywhere. Natural areas are the glue that holds all other habitat together, but for insects even small patches in connected networks within agricultural, suburban, urban, and other landscapes can be beneficial. Whether you are a gardener, a farmer, or the manager of a park or nature reserve, you can take action to protect and restore habitat. Xerces has resources to help on our website.
The Striking Beauty of Oklahoma’s Butterflies
Published on November 9, 2018
Oklahoma’s impressive butterfly fauna of more than 170 species includes the nation’s largest (the giant swallowtail) and the smallest (the western pygmy blue), and representatives of all six major butterfly families: Papilionidae (swallowtails), Pieridae (whites and sulphurs), Lycaenidae (gossamerwings), Hesperiidae (skippers), Riodinidae (metalmarks), and Nymphalidae (brush-foots).
Ups and Downs of English Chalk Grasslands
Published on November 1, 2018
About a third of Britain’s sixty resident butterfly species may be encountered on chalk grasslands, including small skipper, green hairstreak, small copper, meadow brown, Duke of Burgundy, and marbled white, but it is a handful of blues—common, chalkhill, small, and Adonis—that may be most characteristic of this habitat.
Fall Garden Tips to Benefit Bumble Bees All Year
Published on October 30, 2018
The growing season may be winding down, but fall is an important time to create habitat for bumble bees and other native pollinators. The work you do now will help support overwintering pollinators and support the next generation of bumble bees.
My First Hybrid: Limenitis archippus archippus × Limenitis arthemis astyanax
Published on October 25, 2018
Recently, photographer Bryan E. Reynolds encountered a rare hybrid of two of his favorite butterfly species—a well-deserved sighting for a passionate lepidopterist!
Pollinator Conservation Program Digest – October 2018
Published on October 23, 2018
Select updates from our team of restoration ecologists, entomologists, plant ecologists, and researchers.
The Xerces Society Seeks Endangered Species Protections for California Bumble Bees
Published on October 16, 2018
Protecting these species is not only the right thing to do; it will also help to maintain the healthy ecosystems that make California such a remarkable and productive state.
Celebrate Invertebrates During National Apple Month
Published on October 10, 2018
We owe our beautiful autumn apple harvest to invertebrates—pollinators and beneficial insects alike. No matter how you obtain your apples—whether you pick them yourself, grab them at the grocery store, or go bobbing for them—it is important to take a moment to remember the invertebrates that make this delicious harvest possible.
Can Robobees Solve the Pollination Crisis?
Published on September 17, 2018
The problem is more complex than just crops. At least 85 percent of all terrestrial plant species either require or strongly benefit from some form of animal pollination, and the idea of robotic pollinators ignores the many wild plants in meadows, prairies, hedgerows, and forests. Focusing solely on crop pollination and failing to take the pollination of native plants into account may well lead to a deterioration in the plant communities that make up the very fabric of our environment.
Bumble Bee Die-Off Under Investigation in Virginia
Published on June 21, 2018
Pollinator week is set at an ideal time in mid-June. People around the country are enjoying the profusion of pollinators visiting the flowering plants in and around their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, bee kill incidents have marred what should be a week of celebration. Here in my own state of Oregon, between 2013 – 2015, there were Read more …
Rain Gardens Are a Win/Win
Published on April 4, 2018
When it rains, where does the water go? Many erroneously assume storm water is captured, treated, and returned to the water supply. In fact, this is not the case in municipal water systems, where the cost and difficulty associated with treating stormwater makes such a prospect untenable. The reality is that the rain that pours Read more …
Autumn Pollinators in Oklahoma
Published on November 14, 2017
In my opinion, the best time to be in Oklahoma is late summer and fall. The huge number of bees and butterflies visiting our flowers provides endless enjoyment to pollinator watchers like my kids and I. This fall, I’ve spent my free time rearing and tagging monarchs and looking for nectar plants that monarchs prefer Read more …
Going Beyond the Bloom: Don’t Be Just A Flower-Weather Friend
Published on November 10, 2017
As cooler temperatures sweep across the Northeast, it can be easy to put thoughts of blooms, bees, and butterflies to bed until next spring. I think we can agree that many of us reserve visits to meadows, gardens, and other flower-rich habitats for warm, sunny days, so we can enjoy the diversity and beauty of Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Blazingstar
Published on August 9, 2017
This post is part of a series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Blazingstar Liatris spp. Blazing star species are butterfly magnets. When in bloom it’s not unusual to see clusters Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Wild Senna
Published on August 2, 2017
This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Wild Senna Senna marilandica, Senna hebecarpa Wild senna is a large perennial with the distinctive foliage and Read more …
Gardening For Moths
Published on July 21, 2017
Happy Moth Week! National Moth Week is the last full week in July and is a time to get outside – day or night – and appreciate these lesser celebrated Lepidoptera. In celebration of Moth Week we’re sharing the following excerpt from our book Gardening For Butterflies, which includes a chapter on moths and what Read more …
Midsummer Management of Pests and Pollinators
Published on July 13, 2017
It’s summer and organic farmers across the U.S. are in the thick of managing weeds and pests. Right now, many of you are getting ready to till out crabgrass, treating crops to control flea beetles or squash bugs, or maybe wishing you had chosen a different cover crop or crop rotation. When making decisions about Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Figwort
Published on July 5, 2017
This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Figwort Scrophularia spp. The odds are pretty good that you’ve never encountered figwort, or if you have Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Cup Plant
Published on June 28, 2017
This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Cup Plant, Compass Plant, Rosinweed Silhpium spp. Cup plant, compass plant, and rosin weed are common names Read more …
Small Farms, Big Impact: Pollinator Habitat in the Midwest
Published on June 23, 2017
This article originally appeared in our Spring 2017 issue of Wings – available here “Prairie!” Just that one word in the subject line of an email from Erin, a Minnesota vegetable farmer with whom I am working, and I knew it was going to be a great message. The email itself was a series of photographs Read more …
Protecting Pollinators One Community at a Time
Published on June 22, 2017
Pollinator week provides a time for us all to reflect on how we can help restore the amazing and diverse pollinator species so inextricably linked to our survival. While the task of bringing back the pollinators can seem daunting, if we focus on our own communities, we really can make a difference. We’ve provided ideas Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Beardtongue
Published on June 8, 2017
This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Beardtongue Penstemon spp. Beardtongue gets its name for the hairs that line the protruding lower petal of Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Culver’s Root
Published on May 24, 2017
This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Culver’s Root Veranicastrum virginicum spp. Culver’s Root has largely been ignored by beekeepers and gardeners, but has Read more …
Plants you can eat are a pollinator treat
Published on May 17, 2017
If you enjoy growing cucumbers, squash, melons, and other insect pollinated crops, you already know the necessity of having some pollinator pals around. Setting aside part of your vegetable garden specifically for pollinators provides direct benefits in the form of larger, more abundant, and better formed fruits and vegetables. But even fruits and vegetables that Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Pearly Everlasting
Published on May 5, 2017
It’s National Wildflower Week! The first week in May is a time to celebrate our native wildflowers and the pollinators they support. This post is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and Read more …
Obligate Mutualism Blooms in the Desert
Published on April 18, 2017
Tikaboo Valley, Nevada. Home of the Extraterrestrial Highway, the infamous black mailbox, UFO seekers, cattle ranchers, and desert wanderers. Nestled between three mountain ranges and notorious Area 51, Tikaboo is also home to those bizarre Mojave residents known as Joshua trees. These spiky, Dr. Seuss-like plants provide critical food, moisture, and refuge to an incredible Read more …
Staff Story: The Tickle Bees of Sabin Elementary
Published on April 10, 2017
In the summer of 2009, my family and I moved into a house across from the Sabin Elementary School in Northeast Portland, Oregon. Our daughter started kindergarten at the school that fall. As other school parents learned of my work in pollinator conservation, they would occasionally ask me if I’d ever seen the “tickle bees.” Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Violets
Published on April 7, 2017
This post is part of a series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Common Blue Violet Viola sororia Violets are often bemoaned as “weeds” when found in lawns, and otherwise impugned for Read more …
Don’t spring into garden cleanup too soon!
Published on April 4, 2017
Spring is here. A time when warmer weather naturally turns a winter-weary homeowner’s thoughts towards tackling outdoor chores. The first warm weather of the season may coax us out into the yard, but pollinators in your garden aren’t ready to take a chance on the first warm day. Chrysalides still cling to last season’s dried Read more …
Write Your Rep! Less Mowing, More Monarchs
Published on March 31, 2017
We’ve made the case that roadsides can be managed for pollinators, while maintaining erosion control, keeping roads safe, improving water quality, and saving money! Now it’s time to make the case to lawmakers, so that they can change the way their state manages roadsides for multiple benefits, including helping bees, butterflies, and other insects. We’ve Read more …
Pollinator Conservation at 60 MPH
Published on March 12, 2017
This entry originally appeared in the January 2017 Committee on Transportation and Ecology Newsletter. Speeding down the freeway with the landscape flashing by, thoughts of pollinators may be limited to a brief glimpse of honey bee hives in an orchard, a bright patch of flowers beside the road, or an unfortunate butterfly tossed in the Read more …
Plants for Pollinators: Pussy Willow
Published on March 1, 2017
This post is part of a series highlighting some of the best plants for pollinators from coast-to-coast. Drawing from our books 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Gardening for Butterflies , and our Monarch Nectar Plant Guides. Pussy Willow Salix discolor Pussy willow is much loved by florists and decorators eager to bring some of the natural Read more …
Producing Wildflower Seed in the Age of Superweeds
Published on January 24, 2017
“It’s disappointing to see this problem associated with conservation seed mixes.” That’s the response from a friend and native seed producer when I mentioned the news that Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), a highly invasive noxious weed has now appeared in several states across the Midwest. The weed was possibly introduced outside of its native range Read more …
The 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year, and Other Milkweeds You Should Know
Published on January 23, 2017
Each year since 1990, the Perennial Plant Association has designated a “Perennial Plant of the Year.” The designation has become well known amongst growers, landscapers, gardeners, and others who eagerly await the announcement each year. Selection often launches the chosen plant into the mainstream, making it more widely available. While the association has often favored Read more …
New Report: How Neonicotinoids Can Kill Bees
Published on December 14, 2016
The plight of pollinators has grabbed the public’s attention, helped by media stories of parasites, pesticide poisonings, and deserts of urban and agricultural lands where little to no forage can be found. Most experts agree that the startling declines of native bee and butterfly populations, as well as the high annual losses of managed honey Read more …
$4 Million to Help Pollinator Habitat!
Published on December 1, 2016
On Wednesday, November 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and General Mills announced that they were together making a five-year, $4 million financial commitment to support the creation and protection of pollinator habitat on America’s farmlands. Thanks to this funding, the Xerces Society will add six pollinator conservation specialists, who will work jointly with the Read more …
Put Down Those Pruners: Pollinators Need Your ‘Garden Garbage!’
Published on October 21, 2016
It should be welcome news for weary gardeners. You’ve weeded, tilled, and toiled under the hot sun all summer long, and now — it’s time to stop. For many, however, the temptation to pick, pluck, and prune the landscape to make it neat and tidy for the winter is too hard to ignore. This impulse Read more …
Celebrate Apples by Celebrating Their Pollinators!
Published on October 7, 2016
Cut an apple in half through the middle. What do you see? Do you notice a star-shaped cluster of seeds? Those seeds are the result of the hard work done by a tiny pollinator many months ago. If there are two seeds in each of the five points, the apple was completely pollinated, meaning enough Read more …
Pollinator Conservation in Agriculture
Published on September 9, 2016
Recently, conservationists have been discussing the role of agriculture in helping pollinators—and for good reason. About half of the U.S. land base is in agriculture. If we want to truly provide for a long-term future for pollinators, we must work with farmers. Farms come in all shapes and sizes, from small, family-run operations to vast Read more …
Scanning the Horizon for Pollinator Threats and Opportunities
Published on August 9, 2016
The global fate of pollinators rests firmly in the hands of Big Ag according to research published in the journal PeerJ, which identified the most serious future threats and opportunities facing pollinating species. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination was authored by an international team of scientists and conservationists Read more …
Moths are cool too!
Published on July 25, 2016
Given their muted colors, erroneous reputation as pests, and the nocturnal nature of many species, most people fail to take notice of moths — let alone celebrate them. Enter National Moth Week. NMW was started by moth-minded scientists and environmentalists in 2011 as a citizen science project celebrating moths and biodiversity. “Moth-ers” of all ages Read more …
Senator Merkley Unveils New Proposal to Help Restore Pollinator Populations Across the U.S.
Published on June 23, 2016
Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley has unveiled a new proposal to help restore pollinator populations across America. Released during National Pollinator Week, The Pollinator Recovery Act of 2016 discussion draft will provide the public and stakeholders with the opportunity to engage in the legislative process and comment on key policy provisions in the bill. Xerces Society Read more …
Bumble Bees and Baptisia: A Pollination Story
Published on June 21, 2016
Plants use many “tricks” to entice insects into the work of pollination. The shape, color, and bloom period of a plant’s flowers can greatly influence who their potential pollinator mate may be. Such is the case when considering the relationship between bumble bees and flowers in the genus Baptisia. There are two plants of the Read more …
Farm by Farm: 150 Pollinator Habitat Projects
Published on June 20, 2016
Ensuring that pollinators and other beneficial insects have safe, high-quality habitat has been the cornerstone of the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program over the last two decades. Xerces has built a team of experts that work tirelessly toward this goal across a range of landscapes, including gardens, roadsides, parks, golf courses, and natural areas, but Read more …
Partnering for Pollinators
The Xerces Society works with many partners in pollinator conservation. These partners include local, state, and federal agencies; farmers; land managers; seed companies; other conservation groups; and volunteers. We’re thankful for the support of these partnerships which make large-scale pollinator conservation efforts possible. Below is a sampling of partnership projects from the past year. Port Read more …
The Value of Protecting Pollinators
Published on June 9, 2016
If you’re reading this, chances are you have at least a passing interest in protecting pollinators. Maybe you are motivated by Colony Collapse Disorder and its impact on honey bee populations. Maybe you’re a farmer who’s primary interest is in crop yields. Perhaps you’re a naturalist who is interested in the ecological benefits of pollinators. Read more …
Published on June 6, 2016
Pollinators bring us the wildflowers of spring, the berries of summer, the pumpkins we carve into jack-o’-lanterns in fall. Our dinner tables would be less enticing without them: approximately three-quarters of crop plant species need a bee or other pollinator, which translates to roughly one-third of the food and drink that we consume. More than Read more …
Xerces in Your Grocery Store: Working to Make the Food You Eat Better for Bees
Published on May 25, 2016
Over the past decade the Xerces Society has helped farmers contribute to the creation of over 250,000 acres of pollinator habitat nationwide (and to reduce pesticide use on those lands), but it has been challenging to track food produced on that cropland all the way to the plate. To better connect consumers with products that Read more …
Helping Pollinators on the Road to Survival
Published on March 30, 2016
On Monday, March 28, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a memo regarding the pollinator provisions in section 1415 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and announcing the release of “Pollinators and Roadsides: Best Management Practices for Managers and Decision Makers.” The report can be read on the FHWA web site, Read more …
Research Update: Are bee diseases linked to pesticides?
Published on February 16, 2016
The issue of pesticide impacts on bees is of key interest to many people. In time, we’ll also be gathering this information onto a page on our web site. The recently published article, Are bee diseases linked to pesticides?—A brief review (Sanchez-Bayo et al. 2016), infused valuable insights into the discussion about pollinator decline. The Read more …
EPA’s Preliminary Risk Assessment for the Neonicotinoid Insecticide, Imidacloprid
Published on January 7, 2016
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a threat to some pollinators. The EPA’s assessment indicates that the highly toxic, long-lived neonicotinoid imidacloprid “potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators…” While we Read more …
Xerces Goes Island Hopping for Bees
Published on September 24, 2015
How do you restore a 50-acre native wildflower meadow for bees on an island in the middle of the Columbia River? It’s simple. Working with the Port of Portland, and seed company Pacific Northwest Natives, we loaded up a barge with a tractor, a truck, a drill seeder, hundreds of pounds of seed, and half Read more …
How Farmers Are Doing Their Part to Bring Back the Pollinators: A California Case Study
Published on June 27, 2015
It all started with a question: What can large-scale food production and labeling operations do to help pollinators? The Importance of Habitat There are a lot of ways for all of us to help bees, but farmers are in a unique position to make a huge impact. There are over 100 pollinator-dependent crops grown in Read more …
Staff Pollinator Picks #11 and 12
Published on June 25, 2015
Everybody probably has a favorite insect. We thought it would be fun to ask our pollinator staff to suggest their favorite pollinator. With so many pollinators to choose from, it gives a glimpse into the diversity that’s out there waiting to be watched and enjoyed. Here are staff pollinator favorites #11 and 12! Painted lady Read more …
Staff Pollinator Picks #9 and 10
Published on June 22, 2015
Everybody probably has a favorite insect. We thought it would be fun to ask our pollinator staff to suggest their favorite pollinator. With so many pollinators to choose from, it gives a glimpse into the diversity that’s out there waiting to be watched and enjoyed. Here are the ninth and tenth picks in our series Read more …
Staff Pollinator Picks #7 and 8
Published on June 17, 2015
Everybody probably has a favorite insect. We thought it would be fun to ask our pollinator staff to suggest their favorite pollinator. With so many pollinators to choose from, it gives a glimpse into the diversity that’s out there waiting to be watched and enjoyed. Here are two more of their picks. Syrphid fly (Toxomerus Read more …
Staff Pollinator Picks #4, 5, and 6!
Published on June 11, 2015
Everybody probably has a favorite insect. We thought it would be fun to ask our pollinator staff to suggest their favorite pollinator. With so many pollinators to choose from, it gives a glimpse into the diversity that’s out there waiting to be watched and enjoyed. Here are another three of their picks! Large carpenter bee Read more …
Are you up for the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge?
Published on June 10, 2015
The National Pollinator Garden Network is a newly created partnership of organizations involved with pollinator conservation, wildlife gardening, and gardens. The network was initiated as part of the White House’s National Pollinator Strategy and is coordinated by the National Wildlife Federation. It draws together nearly two dozen nonprofits and organizations with a shared aim, to Read more …
Staff Pollinator Pick #3: Blue-winged wasp (Scolia dubia)
Published on June 7, 2015
The more I learn about their behaviors, the more I love insect pollinators! My new favorite is the blue-winged wasp, Scolia dubia. These wasps are solitary. After emerging from the ground (where they grew up and overwintered), they do a courtship dance before mating. Then, each mated female will hover over lawns or gardens searching Read more …
Staff Pollinator Pick #2: Sunflower Bee (Svastra obliqua)
Published on June 5, 2015
Named for its penchant for frequenting sunflowers, female bees of this species appear to prefer to collect pollen from sunflowers and other fall-blooming plants in the family Asteraceae. Although the common name, sunflower bee, can be applied to a number of fall-flying bees, I find this robust, large species particularly striking. I’m also fascinated by Read more …
Pollinator Conservation Crosses a National Threshold
Published on June 4, 2015
The newly released National Strategy to Protect Pollinators and Their Habitat represents a threshold moment in pollinator conservation. Two decades ago, the issue was barely discussed. When Xerces staff attended a national meeting of the pioneering organizations in 1996, it could be held around a single conference table. Ten years ago, interest had grown and Read more …
Staff Pollinator Pick #1: Euglossa dilemma
Published on June 3, 2015
Everybody probably has a favorite insect. We thought it would be fun to ask our pollinator staff to suggest their favorite pollinator. With so many pollinators to choose from, it gives a glimpse into the diversity that’s out there waiting to be watched and enjoyed. We’ll be posting one staff pick every other day. We Read more …
A Mother-and-son Perspective on a Pollinator Garden
Published on May 28, 2015
In honor of Mother’s Day, we thought it would be nice to have a mother’s perspective on pollinator gardening. Alice Vaughan wrote a lovely narrative of her bee garden on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Alice’s son, Mace (who co-directs our pollinator program), added his memories of sharing in the garden. Alice’s View of Her Garden Read more …
Delectable Native Plants Attract a Very Special Crowd
Published on May 20, 2015
What do cherries, plums, serviceberries, black raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and crab apples have in common (apart from making your mouth water)? What about blueberries, cranberries, teaberries, and kinnikinnick? All are fruits of North American plants pollinated by native bees, flies, and other insects. Cherries and company are all in the rose family, while blueberries and Read more …
Wildflowers, Harbingers of Spring
Published on April 28, 2015
The delicate blossoms of spring wildflowers are often the first splashes of color after a long winter. Some, like pasque flowers (Pulsatilla spp.), even push their blooms up through the snow. Spring wildflowers are a welcome sight for tickle bees and other early-emerging pollinators at a time when nectar and pollen sources can be scarce, Read more …
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