Wisconsin Pollinator Newsletter-July 8, 2018

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.

Bee Nutrition: Pollen

Pollen provides bees with protein, minerals, lipids, and vitamins. All animals need essential amino acids, which must be obtained externally and cannot be synthesized by animals. Honey bees also need the same 10 amino acids as other animals. These amino acids are obtained from pollen only, because honey bees do not have any other sources of protein.

Pollen collection by a colony ranges from 35 to 75 pounds per year. When honey bees are provided with insufficient pollen, or pollen with low nutritional value, brood rearing decreases and workers live shorter lives. Shortages of pollen during rainy seasons can cause colony decline or collapse.

Pollen is collected either by pollen foragers, which specialize on pollen collection, or nectar-foragers, which happen to be dusted with pollen. Pollen is brushed off the worker’s body by the front and middle legs, and transferred to a special structure in the hind leg called the cubicula, or pollen basket.

Pollen foragers unload their pollen by “kicking” the pollen pellets off their legs into a cell, which often already has pollen in it, and then the pollen pellets are “hammered” into a paste-like consistency by other workers. Due to the secretions added by bees, the pollens in each cell go through a lactic fermentation. The main effects of fermentation seem to be the reduction of starch, increases in both reducing sugars and fiber, and reduction of ash and pH.

Attracting Butterflies: Host versus Nectar Plants

Since we’re talking butterflies, there are two terms you need to know, HOST PLANT, which is the plant on which the eggs are laid and the caterpillars feed and NECTAR PLANT, which are the primary plants they feed on.

If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, it's important to understand the host and nectar requirements of the species you want to attract. There are some flowers that have a broad range of appear to butterflies. Check out the Butterfly Garden Plan for additional ideas.

The most well- known of these is the MONARCH. The host plants for them are the Common Milkweed and the Swamp Milkweed, while the one plant they prefer for nectar is the Orange Butterfly Weed..

Field Thistles and Hollyhocks are the host plants for the PAINTED LADY. They prefer Coneflowers and Tall Verbena for food.

Dill, Fennel, and Queen Anne’s Lace are the host plants for the EASTERN BLACK SWALLOWTAIL. It enjoys Butterfly Bush and Orange Butterfly Weed for its food.
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RoundUp: Is This A Good Choice for You?

RoundUp® is a convenient and effective way to control weeds in your yard. Whether you want to remove dandelions from your lawn and clear a large area of unwanted plants.

But be aware that there is controversy around the use of this product. At least for the short -term, RoundUp® degrades the soil community and it takes weeks or even months to restore bacteria and fungal populations. Here are some of the concerns:

• RoundUp® appears to have an indirect effect on the soil microbial function and structure in ecosystems. • Research found a decrease in soil bacteria and diversity of the bacterial community. Decreases in the abundance of these bacteria over the long-term could impair the ability of the soil to perform certain functions. • Research has also demonstrated that a Roundup formulation (R450) was toxic to soil fungus.

What's the alternative? First, use RoundUp® sparingly and consider applying it with a fine paintbrush. Boiling water will kill weeds along sidewalks and driveways. Finally, when you do apply RoundUp®, apply compost to the area 24 hours after application to begin the restoration bacterial and fungal communities.

Wild Ones: Join A Chapter Now and Reap the Benefits

Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization with local chapters that teaches about the many benefits of growing native wildflowers in people’s yards. Wild Ones promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities.

Joining Wild Ones gives you access to the camaraderie and information resources of other native plant enthusiasts. A single membership covers both the national organization and your local chapter or partner-at-large benefits. Your participation enables Wild Ones to fulfill its mission—to teach about the many benefits of growing native wildflowers in people’s yards..

Wild Ones chapter activities and benefits include:

• newsletters • monthly meetings • seed gathering • seed exchanges • plant rescues • community garden projects • plant sales

In Wisconsin, there are chapters in Stevens Point, Door County, Green Bay, the Driftless Area, Fox Valley, Kettle Moraine, Madison, Milwaukee and many others areas in the State.

The interactive Spring Wild Bee Identification Guide will help you identify the bees you see in your community by their color, shape, size and habitat. You can also find a link to download a PDF version of the guide.

The Spring Wild Bees of Wisconsin guide is designed to help you identify wild bees commonly found in Wisconsin in the spring and early summer.

To begin, you can choose to identify bees using either picture matching or a dichotomous key.. With picture matching, you will simply select the pictures that look most like your bee. With the dichotomous key, you will be asked a series of questions about your bee, which will help you identify the correct type.