Wisconsin Pollinator Newsletter-August 19, 2018


Metamorphosis: How a Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly

Caterpillar Anatomy What causes the radical transformation from caterpillar to butterfly? How does a caterpillar rearrange itselfinto a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis or cocoon?

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching,involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal's body structure through cell growth and differentiation.

Insects growth and metamorphosis are controlled by hormones synthesized by endocrine glandsnear the front of the body. Neurosecretory cells in an insect's brain secrete a hormone that activates glands,which secrete a second hormone to produce juvenile hormone, which prevents the development of adultcharacteristics during the shedding of the outer cuticle (skin).

Eggs

Monarch Butterfly EggsThe egg stage lasts 6-14 days, but it can be considerabley longer for those species that pass th winter in this stageor for eggs laid in ealy spring when the temerperatures may remain cool for weeks.
Read More


Getting Ready For Fall: Garden Planning

Wood Violets, Viola Odorata The summer-to-fall garden transition proceeds in September, while garden tasks continue: planting, weeding, and collecting or ordering seeds. This month is also a good time to take stock of the garden, reflect on the season, and look ahead to changes.

PLANTING

Native trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted this month, providing weeks of warm soil temperatures for the plant roots to establish before soil temperatures drop. You will not see much growth above ground, but new roots developing now will provide a quick start for your plants next spring. Next summer these fall-planted gardens will grow quickly and look similar to long-established plantings.
Read More


Trout Lily: Early Spring Favorite

Fish Emulsion A beloved spring ephemeral, Trout Lily's maroon-mottled leaves give rise to slender stalks bearing nodding yellow flowers. This plant’s common name comes from its distinguishing characteristic. the mottled coloring on brook trout. The nectar and pollen of the flowers attract largely bees, including bumblebees and Mason bees. Because it blooms in the early spring, it provides pollen to early-emerging bees!

It's time to order now! Trout Lily should be planted where it will receive the warmth of the sun in early spring, and where the soil will be consistenly moist during its flowering season. Plants will spread slowly to form large thick colonies on rich, medium to moist soil, and can take a few years to flower.

After the plants finish blooming, leave the foliage in place - don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and strengthen the root for the future.

Propagation

This is a plant that relies more on the spreading abilities of its underground root system (corms) than on seed production from its flowers. In fact, it takes a few years for a plant to be mature enough to produce a flower and seeds. Trout lilies have recruited the help of ants, who eat a nutritious appendage attached to each seed and leave the rest to germinate.

If you wish to propagate your trout lilies from seed, you will want to follow nature’s lead, at least as far as temperature is concerned. Keep your seeds moist and give them a few months of warm followed by a few months of cold, similar to the seeds falling on the ground at the beginning of summer and receiving the summer warmth and winter cold before sprouting the following spring.
Read More


Pollinator Refreshment Station

Pollinator Refreshment Station If we want our plants to have lots of sex, we need to give bees all the help they can get. Just like about every other living thing on our planet, bees need water, and getting that water can be troublesome for little flying creatures that taste good to birds and fishes and don’t really swim well. Bees can easily drown if there’s nothing to stand on near the water source.

• IN the summer they use the water to cool the hive’s temperature down, and in the winter they use it to help de-crystalize the honey.
• THE water comes into the hive and is placed in specific locations and the worker bees in the hive fan their wings basically creating air conditioning.
• ON a hot day, a single hive can use up to one liter of water.
• BABY bees (larvae) need water in the hive to survive so the nurse bees can produce the proper food for them.

Whether it’s a bowl of marbles, a pie tin or a self-filling pet-bowl full of rocks, it’s a simple and cheap project.


Native Plants: Know Your Roots

Pollinator Refreshment Station The roots of a plant play an important role to help the plant grow and thrive. They anchor the plant in the soil; absorb water and minerals; and store excess food for future needs underground. We are all familiar with eatable roots like carrots, beets parsnips and potatoes. What about the roots of native and wild plants? What are their attributes? Do they provide food and medicine?

The bulk of a prairie grass plant, it turns out, exists out of sight, with anywhere from 8 to 14 feet of roots extending down into the earth. Why should we care? Besides being impressively large, these hidden root balls accomplish a lot:

• Nourishing soil
• Increasing bioproductivity
• Preventing erosion

One of the really nice things about bringing native plants back into our environments is that they are already acclimated to our local soils, rainfall and nutrient loads. Garden soils need little work for native plants to flourish.
Read More


Enter To Win Save the Bees t-shirt

Send Letter to Dept of Transportation 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.
ACT NOW!