Learn More About Pollinators

Submitted by Faye Mahaffey

OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer

Interested in learning more about pollination and pollinators? Hopefully, by now, you realize just how important pollinators are to our existence. The act of “pollination” occurs when pollen grains are moved between two flowers of the same species by wind or animals. Successful “Pollination” results in the production of healthy fruit and fertile seeds, allowing plants to reproduce. Without pollinator visits to tomatoes and other fruit and vegetable plants in our gardens, we would have no produce!

Almost 90% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators for fertilization, and about 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. Of those, 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats and other mammals such as mice. The rest are insects like beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies and moths.

Ohio State University Program Director for Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education, Denise Ellsworth, will be visiting Clermont and Brown Counties for 2 days of pollinator education hosted by the Clermont and Brown County OSUE Master Gardener Volunteers, and the Brown County Beekeepers Association.

On March 12, 2019, you will have the opportunity to become certified as an Ohio Pollinator Advocate. Ohio Pollinator Advocates are certified, trained volunteers who spread the word about the importance of pollinators. Advocates complete at least 2 hours of training in pollination biology, Ohio bee identification, bee biology and habitat enhancement. Once certified, advocates agree to share their knowledge of why pollinators matter. This new training is sponsored by The Ohio State University Bee Lab. This training will take place at the Clermont County Fairgrounds, 4-H Hall, 1000 Locust Street, Owensville, Oh 45160 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The training is free and open to the public, but you will need to register by contacting the Clermont County Extension Office at 513-732-7070.

At 7:00 p.m. on March 12, 2019, the Brown County Beekeepers Association will host Denise Ellsworth as their speaker on Phenology for Beekeepers. Phenology is the study of recurring biological phenomena and their relationship to weather and climate. Participants will learn how to track bloom time of local plants using a web-based biological calendar, how native bees emerge in relation to phenology, and how to customize this calendar for bee-specific plants. This seminar will be held at Western Brown High School’s Community Room (back of the school) at 476 W. Main Street, Mt. Orab Oh 45154 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This program is free and open to the public and no registration is required.

On March 13, 2019, Denise Ellsworth will present the program, Gardening for Pollinators at the Brown County Fairgrounds, in the carpeted room at Rhonemus Hall, 325 West State Street, Georgetown, Oh 45121, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Gardeners play a vital role in the development and conservation of habitat that benefits pollinators, including bees, birds and butterflies. This session will focus on the practical steps gardeners can take to create or enhance habitat, including plant selection and simple design elements. This program is free and open to the public, no registration required.

As we start to make plans for our gardens and order seeds, we need to remember that how we design and what we plant can certainly make a difference in the existence of our pollinators!

We hope that you will mark your calendars and join us for 2 days of Pollinator Education.