Wisconsin Pollinator Newsletter-June 24, 2018

Caterpillar Identification Guide

Check out the Caterpillar Identification Guidewhere you will find over 30 Wisconsin native butterfly caterpillars. Identify who is nibbling on your native plants that you carefully placed in your garden to attract pollinators. Here are just a few of the most common caterpillars you might find in your garden!.

Praying Mantis: Add them to you garden to get rid of insect pests

are large insects of 5-8 centimeters in length. They have leathery forewings that fold over their abdomens when at rest. The mantid's triangular head can rotate and swivel, even allowing it to look over its "shoulder", which is a unique ability in the insect world. Two large compound eyes and up to three ocelli between them help the mantid navigate its world. The first pair of legs, held distinctively forward, allow the mantid to catch and grasp insects and other prey.

You can order Praying Mantis egg cases online. 75 to 200 baby praying mantids, also called Nymphs, emerge from a praying mantis egg case (Ootheca). Once they hatch, release all as the will need to immediately find food and water. You will notice that the babies will eat one another and ants will flock to the release site and cannabaize the nymphs.

Green Sweat Bee: The most common bee in your garden

Green Sweat Bees are among the most common bees wherever bees are found. There are about 1000 species. Although their small size makes them relatively inconspicuous, hundreds may swarm over flowers in gardens or meadows. The different species are often difficult to distinguish. Most sweat bees visit a variety of flowers. They sting only if handled

Habitat: Generalists Development: Complete metamorphosis Flight Period: Mid-spring through late-summer

Many species are solitary-that is, the female builds and occupies its nest alone. This is considered the basic, most primitive nesting behavior. In some sweat bee species, females nest communally, sharing a common nest entrance.

Nectar: The Sweet Story

Nectar is made as a reward for pollinators. They need the plants in order to survive because nectar is their food source. Not all plants produce nectar, only plants that are visited by animal-type pollinators. Plants that are wind pollinated, for example, will not produce nectar.

What is Nectar?

The main ingredients in nectar are natural sugars in varying proportions of sucrose, glucose, and fructose In addition, nectars have a variety of other chemicals. Nectar also contains water, carbohydrates, amino acids, ions and numerous other compounds.

How Do Plants Produce Nectar?

Plants use the energy in sunlight to make sugar from carbon dioxide and water -- the process that's called photosynthesis. Most of the sugar is made in the leaves, the plant organ that is specialized to gather sunlight. From the leaves this sugar travels through the plant's conducting tissues to the other parts of the plant, the roots, stems and flowers. These plant parts then remove the sugar from the conductive tissues and use it to fuel all their metabolic processes. Read More

BeeSmart® Pollinator Gardener phone app

The Bee Smart® Pollinator Gardener is your comprehensive guide to selecting plants for pollinators specific to your area and is available on Android and iOS platforms . Never get caught wondering what plants to buy again!

Filter your plants by what pollinators you want to attract, light and soil requirements, bloom color, and plant type. This is an excellent plant reference to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, beetles, bats, and other pollinators to the garden, farm, school and every landscape.

Features include:

• Nearly 1,000 pollinator friendly plants native to the United States. • Customizable plant lists based on your preferences including pollinator type, flower color, soil type, sunlight and plant type. • Regionally specific plant lists based on the geographical and ecological attributes of your location (your ecoregion) just by entering your zip code! • A wide variety of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and vines to browse. • An easy to use search option for querying on common or botanical plant names.

Enter To Win Save the Bees t-shirt

Wisconsin roadsides are largely devoid of native plants and the beauty they once engendered as we travelled our roads. The WI Department of Transportation (DOT) has chosen to replace the natural flora with non-native grasses and forbs.

Restore native flowers and shrubs along Wisconsin roadways. Ask the Department of Transportation to stop planting non-native grasses.

Restore the natural beauty of our State by using native plants along roadways and earn a chance to win this t-shirt . Contest ends August 31, 2018. Three shirts will be awarded.