What can you do at home to help support healthy pollinator populations? Here are a few basic suggestions for creating pollinator-friendly gardens:
This has truly been an exciting month for those of us who love bees of all kinds. The Obama tweet about the White House plan to promote pollinator health, the release of a U.K. native bee documentary, and of course, let’s not forget that next week is National Pollinator Week!
And the cherry on top (did you know that many types of cherries require pollination to produce fruit?): you can now pre-order a hardcover book featuring the lovely photographs of Sam Droege for your own coffee table (coffee, of course, being another crop that benefits from bee pollination).
Cover of Bees: An Up-Close Look of Pollinators Around the World by Sam Droege and Laurence Packer
It’s an easy, cheap, and colorful way to bring bees into your home. You can pre-order yours today on Amazon for only $17, and they are estimated to ship out July 1st.
A still of mating mason bees from the documentary The Solitary Bees
Team Candiru has just released a new documentary online, a poetic and beautifully shot masterpiece about The Solitary Bees. It’s a short movie, only around 17 minutes, free to view online, and well worth the time.
It features bees found in the United Kingdom, but at least one of them (Anthidium manicatum, the woolcarder bee) has made its way here to the States as well. In addition to capturing amazing footage of solitary bees, it also includes a lot of great information.
One thing I love about walking around a garden is guessing what kind of animal each type of plant relies on for pollination. This is because plants that rely on certain types of animal pollinators are often adapted to be particularly attractive to that type of animal, a phenomenon known as “pollinator syndromes.” The following slides are from a poster I made showcasing pollinator syndromes. Once you read these, you can be an expert, too!
Female striped sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, dusted in pollen. Photo by Sam Droege of the USGS, click to visit full article
Anyone who studies native bees in North America knows about Sam Droege, in no small part due to his stunning closeup photographs of bees.
Learn more about Sam Droege, his work with bees, and the beauty of bee diversity in a recent feature article by National Geographic
Sometime around when I started studying for my Qualifying Exam I let this blog go dormant. But Spring is here, and it’s time to breathe some life back into this project.
In the upcoming few weeks I’d like to share a few educational posters I made for an event back in April, then I’d like to share a little bit of the research I’ve been doing since the last time I wrote a post.
But in the meantime, here is a small native bee I saw in my neighborhood getting busy with a blackberry flower. Excuse the quality- I snapped it with my camera phone.
A very useful and informative document published by the USDA National Agroforestry Center in 2007.
Click image for source (USDA/NAF 2007. Enhancing nest sites for native bee crop pollinators. Agroforestry Notes volume 34