An Idea Whose Time Has Come…

Today’s editorial in the local newspaper, the Lincoln Journal Star, focuses on the plight of bees and the United State’s efforts to do something about our pollinator populations.

From the editorial – June 30, 2014

Six years ago, at a time when news media were giving attention to the high rate of bee deaths, the Journal Star mused in a tongue-in-cheek editorial that maybe one day the nation would be forced into “dotting the landscape with national bee refuges………”

Take a moment to read the rest of the editorial on-line here.

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

 

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Landscaping for Pollinators – Nebraska Statewide Arboretum

Insect hotel in pollinator habitat.

Insect hotel in pollinator habitat.

Our friend and colleague, Kendall Weyers from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, recently wrote a nice article on landscaping with pollinators….Thanks Kendall!

Kendall – “Mention pollinators in the landscape, and the first thought of most homeowners is the butterfly. Everyone loves to see this beautiful creature floating on a summer breeze, and some gardeners select plants specifically for them.”

“Yet it is important to remember there is a long list of pollinators beyond butterflies. A wide range of bees, beetles, moths, flies, ants, birds and even bats all play an important role in pollination. Unfortunately these roles and their effectiveness have diminished in our highly fragmented or entirely altered native ecosystems. Weather changes, heavy use of non-native plants and pesticide use also have contributed to the decline of pollinators.”

Be sure to visit the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Web site and blog for more information on pollinators, plants and our landscapes. http://arboretum.unl.edu/

Enjoy!

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

Getting a Prairie Pollinator Education

Penstemon in Bloom

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

Last week, we attended a Pollinators Workshop and Habitat Tour for Landowners. Very hands-on, very engaging – so glad we went!! Thanks to the folks with Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Nebraska Game & Parks, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Nebraska Environmental Trust for making it possible.

The workshop was held at The Audubon Center at Spring Creek Prairie near Denton, Nebraska. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, please put the prairie on your bucket list! Less than 2 percent of the world’s original tallgrass prairie remains and we have our own preserve near Lincoln. It is an amazing place.

We learned about beekeeping, butterflies and native bees, other pollinators and of course, their benefits. On our tours of the prairie, we identified insects and plants native to the prairie. It was extremely windy (not a surprise on a prairie), but it made it difficult to observe pollinators when they are “blowin’ in the wind”. We also observed plants blooming now. As for wildlife? Great pollinator habitat is obviously great habitat for wildlife as well.

And hey, this morning our local Lincoln Journal Star newspaper has an article about encouraging farmers and landowners to add native plants and flowers for pollinators 🙂 You can read it here:

 http://journalstar.com/news/local/farmers-urged-to-feel-flower-power/article_d72fd56e-0dd7-5b73-b19d-d3c0aef8faf8.html

For information on how you can encourage pollinators on your farm or acreage, contact your local NRCS office.

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