Programs for Pollinator Conservation in Rural Areas

More than 30 percent of our food relies on insect pollination, which is overwhelmingly provided by bees. Recent research has shown that wild native bees, which number more than 4,000 species in North America, contribute substantially to crop pollination on farms where their habitat needs are met. –Using 2014 Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation

Penstemon in Bloom

Penstemon is one of the many native flowers blooming on Spring Creek Prairie in June. Beautiful!

Rural residents play an important role in protecting pollinator habitats. Using 2014 Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation provides information on how you can encourage pollinator habitat in rural areas.  Congress recognizes pollinators are a crucial part of healthy agricultural and natural landscapes and the 2014 Farm Bill reflects the importance of pollinators.

For assistance with your farm or acreage pollinator program and more, contact:

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

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First Inventory of Wild Bees is Under Way

Bees are in the News! From National Geographic  —

Sam Droege, head of the Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program at the U.S. Geological Survey, is undertaking the monumental task of creating a national inventory of indigenous wild bees.

“The biggest problem is telling the bees apart. Bees are often difficult to differentiate, and about 400 species—ten percent of North America’s bees—lack names. (Compare that to the 1,000 ant species that have been named.)”

Bumble Bee

Could wild bees be the key to saving U.S. crops?

There’s a lot of work to do as scientists try to beat the clock. If honeybee populations continue to decline, scientists believe wild bees could potentially save our crops.

Take a moment to view the video and read more at National Geographic News – As Honeybees Die Off, First Inventory of Wild Bees Is Under Way. Could wild bees be the key to saving U.S. crops? by Sasha Ingber for National Geographic.

Here’s to sharing the buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

Bumble Boosters!

“Like many other important native pollinators, bumble bees are threatened by habitat loss, chemical use, and disease. Availability of nest sites is a key factor limiting bumble bee populations. Bumble bees do not make their nest. They instead locate abandoned rodent dens in which to establish a colony. There is high competition for these nest sites. Queen bumble bees will kill each other for control of a natural nest site.” From “Build a Better Domicile” at http://bumbleboosters.unl.edu/

You can help encourage bumble bees by building a better bumble bee “home”. Since 1999, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bumble Boosters has partnered with public and private organizations to encourage the conservation of bees and other invertebrate pollinators. The primary mission of Bumble Boosters is promoting the benefits of pollinators and public science literacy through engagement in authentic research with native pollinators. The “Build a Better Domicle” project encourages you to be a citizen scientist! Although the project is all out of bumble bee domicles for 2014, you can build your own. For information, contact bumbleboosters@unl.edu

To learn more about Bumble Boosters, visit http://bumbleboosters.unl.edu and join on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/unlbumbleboosters!

We’re strongly considering a bumble bee domicle for the Cherry Creek project! Time to get building! And don’t forget, now’s a great time to make your insect hotels and native bee nest boxes – http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/354Pollinators.pdf

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

EPA issues new pesticide labels to help protect pollinators

Apologies for the snippets and links, but important to get the information out:

Just released:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled new labels that prohibit the use of some of the controversial pesticides containing neonicotinoids where bees are present.

Here is the official press release from the EPA: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/C186766DF22B37D485257BC8005B0E64

NBC News release: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/epa-issues-new-pesticide-labels-warn-about-hazards-bees-6C10931490

Take a peek at the official EPA Bee Advisory Box label here http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/ecosystem/pollinator/bee-label-info-graphic.pdf

Summary of federal efforts to protect pollinators: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ecosystem/pollinator/index.html

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

Sensitive Sites, Pollinators and DriftWatch

This YouTube video from UNL Extension discusses sensitive sites, pesticides and their impact on pollinators. There are also suggestions on what farmer’s can do to reduce the risks to pollinators if they choose to use certain pesticides and by leaving habitat, like tree lines. Buzz Vance (yes, his name really is Buzz) from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture explains the current situation. Buzz is also a beekeeper so he has a personal interest in making sure our pollinator populations are healthy.

Near the end of the video is a segment on DriftWatch at https://driftwatch.org/ – an important tool for anyone with sensitive specialty crops and for producers using any pesticides around bees and other sensitive sites.

Here’s to Sharing the Buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu