Olivia Carril returning to Ohio for two wild bee events in September!

Author and biologist Olivia Carril is returning to Ohio in September for two events focused on wild bee biology and identification. Register soon, as space is limited for both events!

Catch the Buzz Wild Bee Workshop

Friday, September 8 from 10AM to 3PM 

Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware

All details and registration here.

Catch the Buzz Wild Bee Workshop with Dr. Olivia Carril, World-Renowned Bee Specialist

Fall Nature Safari: Exploring the Hills of Southern Ohio

Wildflowers, Caterpillars, Bees, Birds, Butterflies and More!

September 8-10

Shawnee Lodge & Conference Center located in Scioto County

Join experts for an immersive weekend experience focused on late summer blooming native flora – goldenrod and asters – and the bees, birds and butterflies that are dependent on them. Indoor and outdoor experiences include lectures, day trips and nighttime nature exploration.

Expert presenters include Dr. Olivia Carril, author of The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees, Jim McCormac, author of the recent publication Gardening for Moths: A Regional Guide, Dr. Randy Mitchell, Ohio bumble bee expert, and Judy Semroc, author of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Northeast Ohio.

All details and registration here.


Both events represent partnerships with OSU Entomology and OSU’s Integrated Pest Management grant, sponsored by NIFA. I hope to see you at one or both events!

~ Denise Ellsworth, OSU Entomology/Extension

Join us for a free webinar 2/4@10AM EASTERN: Heather Holm, Bumble Bee Banquet

The next session of the Tending Nature webinar series will be this Friday, February 4th at 10AM EASTERN. This is a free webinar series.

Author and Biologist Heather Holm discuss the “Bumble Bee Banquet: Selecting Native Plants for Bumble Bees.” Heather is the author of several excellent books on bees, wasps and native plants. Heather’s camera is always close at hand when she’s out in the field, so her programs come to life with her amazing photographs. Find more about Heather’s work and books here.

Tending Nature study group, Week 2

Last week in Tending Nature, we learned about the importance of insects in many natural functions known as ecosystem services.  Mary Gardiner walked us through insects’ roles as decomposers, pollinators and predators. She also highlighted the natural history some of these fascinating creatures. Remember that all Tending Nature webinar recordings will be posted (usually the same day) on our Recordings tab above.

This week we’ll consider the many functions of native plants. In our Friday webinar (1/14/22), author and biologist Doug Tallamy will discuss native plants and the food and habitat they provide for countless creatures in his webinar “Bringing Nature Home: The Importance of Native Plants.” Doug has been instrumental in spreading the word about native plants to gardeners and nature enthusiasts since the publication of his book Bringing Nature Home. Doug will share his insights and answer participant questions. As always, the session will be recorded and posted for those who can’t attend live.

We’ve linked to some of Doug Tallamy’s research and resources under the Learn With Us tab this week, including the native plant finder from The Nature Conservancy and a tool to identify regional keystone plants. If you’re keeping a Tending Nature journal, list “keystone plants” already growing in your garden site and make a wish list of species you may want to add this year.

On Thursday, January 13 from 12:00PM to 1:00PM EASTERN, Robin Wall Kimmerer will be presenting a free webinar sponsored by the City Club of Cleveland in partnership with Holden Forests & Gardens’ NEA Big Read Northeast Ohio (Links to an external site.) with Kent State University.

Good Medicine: A Conversation with Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer will discuss how we can repair not only ecological communities, but also the reciprocal relationship humankind has with land. Watch live on Thursday at the website below (click the link now to add your e-mail to get a reminder to join):

https://www.cityclub.org/forums/2022/01/13/good-medicine-a-conversation-with-robin-wall-kimmerer (Links to an external site.)

Hope to “see” you at Thursday’s lecture with Robin Wall Kimmerer or at Friday’s webinar with Doug Tallamy!

Tending Nature: a new webinar series on native plants and biodiversity

Native Plants and Every Gardener’s Role in Fostering Biodiversity

Tending Nature website

Register Here

Tending Nature registration is now open! This new 6-session webinar speaker series focused on the ecological roles of native plants and some of the creatures that depend on them. We’ll meet virtually each Friday for 6 weeks from January 7th through February 11th.

All sessions are on Fridays at 10AM EASTERN and will last for approximately 60 minutes plus questions. Join live sessions or connect to webinar recordings. This series and all of our webinar offerings are free.

1/7 Mary Gardiner: Beneficial Insect Biodiversity: What It Is and Why It Matters

1/14 Doug Tallamy: Bringing Nature Home: The Importance of Native Plants

1/21 Lisa Olsen: Cultivating a Community of Support for Native Plants

1/28 Bryan Danforth: Host-plant Specialist Bees – Biology, Biodiversity, and Conserving Them in Your Backyard

2/4 Heather Holm: Bumble Bee Banquet: Selecting Native Plants for Bumble Bees

2/11 Debra Knapke: Native Plants in My Garden? Absolutely!

Sponsored by the OSU Department of Entomology and The Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens and is funded in part by a USDA/NIFA Integrated Pest Management Pollinator Health grant.

Coordinated by Denise Ellsworth, OSU Department of Entomology. Questions? contact Denise at ellsworth.2@osu.edu

Register once to attend any/all sessions. The same link will allow you to join each webinar.

This event will be presented with automated closed captions. If you wish to request traditional CART services or other accommodations, please contact Denise Ellsworth at ellsworth.2@osu.edu. Requests made by will 12/31/21 generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

Find all of our recorded webinars here.

Join us online for The Living Landscape Speaker Series!

Need inspiration to make it through the winter? Join fellow gardeners and nature enthusiasts for The Living Landscape Speaker Series. All sessions are free via Zoom, but preregistration is required.

January 15th@10AM  Doug Tallamy: Restoring Nature’s Relationships at Home

January 22nd@1PM  Marne Titchenell: Enhancing Your Landscape for Birds and Other Wildlife

January 29th@10AM  Deb Knapke: Eco-Conscious Gardening: From Concept to Design

February 6th 10AM – 11:30AM Rick Darke: Dynamic Design and The Art of Observation

Find detailed program descriptions here.

Register here for the first three sessions. Check back on January 15th for the link to register for our final session with Rick Darke.

The Living Landscape Speaker Series is co-sponsored by OSU Entomology and The Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Garden, in cooperation with the Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers and the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Garden Volunteers. Funding is provided in part by the Manitou Fund and NIFA’s IPM Pollinator Health grant.

Ohio Bee Survey update, and free Bee Guide!

The Ohio Bee Survey kicked off in 2020 with the goal of identifying all of Ohio’s bee fauna. While other states have conducted surveys of wild bees, this is the first survey undertaken in Ohio.

Although Covid-19 changed the survey strategies and methods of volunteer training, we were still able to recruit and train 154 bee collectors across Ohio in 2020. Instead of in person meetings to train collectors and distribute survey kits, participants were trained via live Zoom webinars conducted by survey director MaLisa Spring. Despite university closures and shipment challenges, survey kits were compiled and mailed to participants in each of Ohio’s 88 counties in April and May. Specimen collection began in May and continued weekly through September for most collectors. Drop-off days were held in October across the state to provide safe (socially-distanced) opportunities for collectors to submit samples.

To keep our collectors motivated and updated, MaLisa posted weekly updates on the Ohio Bee Survey website. Bee collectors (and assorted bee fans) looked forward to these lively, informative updates to learn more about what bees (and bycatch) were collected in 2020. Here, MaLisa’s post includes use of a grain of rice for a size comparison:

Rice, bees and thrips

Rice for scale really throws you for a loop when you realize that a dull green sweat bee (Dialictus sp) is about the same size as a grain of rice.

In total, 118 collectors returned kits with frozen samples. The bees (and other collected critters) were transferred to Dr. Karen Goodell’s lab at OSU Newark for pinning and identification. This process will likely take 18 months due to the volume of collected bees and the Covid-19 limits on volunteers and students working together to process samples.

As an exciting offshoot of the survey, one of our bee collectors with impressive graphic design skills worked with MaLisa Spring to create a bee field guide, Bees of Ohio: A Field Guide. This guide will be invaluable to train and support collectors, students and bee enthusiasts in Ohio. Many thanks to Amy Schnebelin for taking lead on the field guide project!

And many thanks to all our survey participants for your work on the Ohio Bee Survey!

2020 Volunteer Pollinator Specialization in NE Ohio: learn more and apply!

The newest volunteer pollinator specialization starts in February and runs through November. This class will be held in Northeast Ohio. Limited spaces are still available, but the class is filling up quickly. For more information and to apply visit this website.

Questions? Email Denise: ellsworth.2@osu.edu