Tending Nature Study Group, Week 4

This week, we’ll turn our attention to specialist bees. Bryan Danforth of Cornell University will illuminate the fascinating world of specialist bees in Friday’s Tending Nature webinar (10AM EASTERN). These bees live their lives in tight association with specific plant groups, depending on a narrow range of pollen to nourish the bee larvae. Bryan is coauthor of The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution and Conservation. He and a team of authors published the recent guide to specialist bees: Creating a pollinator garden for native specialist bees of New York and the Northeast. Read through pages 1 – 4 for an overview of specialist bees to get you ready for Bryan’s talk.

Not surprisingly, the journal prompts this week focus on specialist bees. Who are the specialist bees in your region, and which native plants can you add to provide habitat? Check the Learn With Us reading list for this week to find Eastern, Central and Western specialist bees. Ohio even has its own guide to specialist bees.

This week’s readings in Bringing Nature Home (chapters 11 and 12) will focus on specific plants and garden strategies we can take to enhance backyard habitat. In chapter 4 in Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife we’ll turn our attention to providing cover. Over the last year I’ve been working with OSU wildlife specialist Marne Titchenell on a factsheet project. Marne has helped me gain an appreciation for the many plants that provide cover for birds and others. With over 16″ of snow on the ground this week, my yard’s shrub dogwoods, brambles, spruce trees and  a few large brush piles are providing many sheltered places for birds struggling to reach my feeders and hide from the Cooper’s hawk.

Last week, our Tending Nature study group here in Ohio invited Marne to a zoom meetup to discuss native plants for birds, with a focus on Ohio plants. Marne is an excellent educator; I’ve posted the video here for you to enjoy.

Find Marne’s most recent The Wildside@OSU” blog post here.

Enjoy your week! I look forward to “seeing” you on Friday to learn more about specialist bees from Bryan Danforth!



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