Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Pollinator’

Bass River Students Enhance Pollinator Habitat

Monday, August 13th, 2018
Enriching Learning Experiences while Enhancing Biodiversity

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Sunflower in bloom out front of Bass River Elementary School.

Bass River Elementary is a small school located in Bass River Township, Burlington County. Students and faculty are passionate about protecting wildlife and the habitat that’s required to survive. From headstarting hatching N. diamondback terrapins, composting, and raising monarch caterpillars, they know that hands on education is key to engaging future generations to care about our environment. We knew it would be the perfect place to create a wildflower garden to provide food for nectar feeding insects! (more…)

DEDICATED VOLUNTEER JEANNIE GEREMIA HONORED FOR HER SERVICE

Monday, October 16th, 2017

By Mara Cige

Jeannie Geremia, 2017 Service Award Honoree

As Vice President for the Garden Club of New Jersey, 2017 Women & Wildlife Service Award Honoree  Jeannie Geremia has followed her passion for protecting pollinators by leading, inspiring, and educating others on the importance of pollination and wildlife habitat gardens for the past decade. She works to engage others in gardening for pollinators, as well as ensuring funding to support these efforts.

One of Ms. Geremia’s most notable accomplishments is her leadership in the designation of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly as the New Jersey State Butterfly. She spoke to many members of the New Jersey State Legislature, and recruited legislators with her enthusiasm and vast knowledge on the species. Her action earned her recognition from both the New Jersey Senate and the General Assembly. (more…)

New Jersey Gains Another Endangered Species: The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

First bee in continental U.S. added to endangered list

By Kendall Miller

The rusty patched bumble bee has been locally extinct from the Garden State since the late 1900s. Once a common sight, the species has been eliminated from 87% of its entire range and has been seen only in isolated pockets of its once wide range.

But finally, the long awaited day has come – the rusty patched bumble bee has officially been added to the Endangered Species List.

The Rusty Patch Bumble Bee is found only in isolated pockets of its former range. Photo taken from Xerces Society.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation first petitioned for the listing of the rusty patch in 2013. The decision to list was finally reached in September of this past year, and the Rule was officially published on January 11, 2017. The official Ruling brings the species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, which will enable it to receive much needed federal protection.

Following the listing of seven yellow-faced bees found only in the isolated archipelago of Hawaii this September, the rusty patched is the first bee to join the ESL that is native to the continental U.S. It seems as if it has not been a good couple of months for bees, however this perception is far from the truth. Pollinators are on the decline across the globe as a result of pesticides, habitat loss and degradation, and the spread of pests and diseases. Listing pollinators for the first time means that their plight is recognized, and it empowers those who are working to protect these species from extinction.

Rare find, this is a species that has suffered drastic declines since the late 1990’s. Photo courtesy of Dan Mullen.

The multitude of ways that we rely on pollinators – for food, clothes, ecosystem functioning – means that their peril is our own. In New Jersey, the service provided by *wild pollinators is valued at $43 million; in the U.S. as a whole, it is $3 billion annually. Since the rusty patch (along with other species of bumble bees) is an excellent pollinator of New Jersey crops like blueberries, cranberries, and tomatoes, it is sorely missed from the Garden State.

This listing is another small step for the protection of native bees and pollinators everywhere.

Helping pollinators takes three steps:
1.  Plant flowering nectar sources spring through fall
2.  Provide safe nesting and overwintering habitat
3.  A pesticide free environment

 

*Wild pollinators are native bee species like the rusty patch bumble bee that have evolved with their native ecosystems. Honey bees that are commercially used for agriculture pollination services and honey production are not native to the United States.



Kendall Miller is a project coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Help Pollinators: Create a Bee-Friendly Backyard

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
A Few Tips to Attract Bees to Your Backyard

by: McKenzie Cloutier, Special Events and Fundraising Intern

Honey_bee_on_blue_flower

Bees are essential members of our community. Some organizations estimate that we rely on pollinators to produce about 75% of the food we eat including vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and even coffee and chocolate! Nearly all of earth’s plants rely on bees. Conserving bees will help ensure food security.

 

Despite their importance, bees are currently threatened worldwide and as a result, their numbers are declining rapidly. The most prominent threats to bees include pesticide use, loss of habitat due to construction and human development, and an increase in invasive or nonnative plant species.

 

Thankfully, there is a lot that can be done to help bees regain their numbers, starting in your very own back yard:

  • First, reduce pesticide usage in your yard. Pesticides are harmful because they affect the nectar that bees consume. Ideally, go pesticide-free!
  • Next, create a habitat for bees in your backyard. Plant a garden with a variety of plants for bees to pollinate. Choose plants that flower at different times so that the bees will always have food accessible to them. Native plants are the most beneficial to bees. Bees will pollinate a countless number of different plant species, but they are more attracted to certain colors such as blue, purple yellow, white and violet. A few examples of their favorites include:
    • Foxglove
    • Heliotrope
    • Blueberry
    • Sunflower
    • Lavender
    • Squash
  • Next, construct homes for bees. Different structures are beneficial for different types of bees, so you can research ways to help house the various types. For example, you could purchase a mason bee house to benefit mason bees. You can also build your own bee house! Start with a milk carton or wooden box and paint it a bright color, making sure to use a zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) or low-VOC paint. Insert and layer piles of brown paper nest tubes; you can find these at a garden store or construct them yourself.
  • You can also build a bee bath. Bee baths should be shallow with landing spots available for bees. For example, use a plate or bowl and line it with rocks. Add only enough water that the rocks stay dry to serve as landing spots for the bees. Be sure to position the bath at ground level and to change the water on a daily basis.
  • A few last tips include choosing to mow meadow areas of your lawn less frequently and leaving an area of dirt in your yard for ground-nesting bees’ tunneling.

 

For more tips on how to help pollinators, visit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s website.

 

McKenzie Cloutier is the summer 2015 Special Events and Fundraising Intern for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

 

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