Check this specialty blog each year during National Pollinator Week in June as we share new resources on pollinators and conservation, or visit this treasure trove any time of year!
Perfect Pollinators Classroom Presentation and Vocabulary Flash Cards: downloadable materials (PDF) for classroom presentations on native and local pollinators and habitat.
MONDAY JUNE 17, 2013
Why are bees swarming in Oregon? KATU Channel 2 provided an interesting look into the phenomenon in 2012, complete with swarm footage. It appears that queen bees easily survive Oregon’s relatively mild winters and that early spring weather allows for early emergence of the new brood.
Bee Pollen Popular has bee-n one of our most popular handouts at farmer’s markets and plant sales in recent years, and with good reason. This straight forward mini-booklet from NRCS is full of gorgeous illustrations and straightforward facts. You can find more about the brochure as well as a bundle of pollinator resources at their Insects & Pollinators page, or learn more about bringing pollinators to your farm in their short video.
TUESDAY JUNE 18, 2013
Meet a leaf cutter bee. Ashmeadiella sculleni is native eastern Oregon, but tough to locate on the web. This bee essentially chews up and spits out leaves to help build its home. So if it doesn’t eat leaves, what does it eat? Email us the answer to be added to the mailing list and receive a special e-book on pollinator conservation!
Zombies have been a movie theater blockbuster mainstay, but zombie bees? Apparently they have been having an impact on Oregon honey bee populations. And just how do those honey bees make the golden good stuff anyway? And if your little ones already know that, the Bug Chicks have a great video on how pollination works too.
Food for thought: Did you know 1 in 3 bites of food depend directly on pollinators? In Oregon, that proportion may be higher! ODA says “Oregon has the highest median intake of vegetables– in other words, the number of times per day compared to other states. Adults in Oregon and California eat more vegetables than adults in other states and we are also among the highest in fruit consumption.”
WEDNESDAY JUNE 19, 2013
Meet Bombus occidentalis, a.k.a. the western bumble bee and learn what a day in the life of a bumble bee is really all about. If you were from around these parts a century ago, you’d likely already recognize this hard working native, but populations have declined to dangerously low levels in modern times. And try to unravel a recent local bumble bee mystery – what killed the bumble bees at the Wilsonville target?
We’ve focused this year on bees, but the bats, butterflies and birds deserve their fair share of attention too. The sad truth of the matter is that they are also facing environmental challenges that have lead to their decline. A few years ago, OSU researchers noticed a link between pollination rate declines and bird migration disruptions.
In honor of National Pollinator Week, Discovery channel is sharing photos of the rare albino hummingbird… not exactly native or local, but worthy of appreciation none-the-less! Wondering what local birds and butterflies are pollinators in western Oregon? The Rufous hummingbird and Perseus Dusky Wing are among them.
You can also learn more about Plants in the Pollinator Pathway from our neighbors to the north. Many of the species listed for Seattle are native to this region as well. USDA has some official recommendation for Oregon Plants for Pollinators too.
Looking for even more resources for pollinator conservation? Check out Xerces page for Pacific Northwest resources.
THURSDAY JUNE 20
Four species of mason bee are native to Oregon, but have very limited ranges at present. Although your chances of running into Osmia ashmeadii, cascadica, orthognathus or producta subgracilis in the wild are low, especially in Washington county, this species is seeing revived popularity (and numbers?) in home gardens. Learn how to attract them to the yard by building a mason block, or just leave fallen woody debris in place for more natural habitat.
But Oregon’s native pollinator population extends bee-yond the bees to include bats, hummingbirds and other critters too. Don’t miss out on great resources to help identify native hummingbirds, or for a broader perspective on all things insectological (rather, entomological), check out the Smithsonian’s free resource.
FRIDAY JUNE 21
We would never make light of the plight of pollinators today, but a little humor on a Friday (or any day) is pretty nice.
The Bug Chicks put together a list this week of fantastic pollinator resources… we want to be sure we archive them here for posterity as well. Imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery!
There are literally millions of things to know about pollinators, and we certainly don’t have room to share them all, but here are 10 from USDA that we agree are pretty great.
Its good to keep in mind, though, that these hard working and beautiful species are in danger from some modern practices. USDA has made great strides in protecting and restoring pollinator habitat, and you can too.
We hope that this week of blogging has helped raised awareness of the issues and inspired you to share the word, make a change, and appreciate a pollinator! You can share you photos and stories with us at Chantel.Huff@tualatinswcd.org .