*Research Published*: Honey Bee-Attractiveness of Ornamental Nursery Plant Genera

Rosa Syringa Spiraea In January 2020, Nature Research Journal published a scientific report from Sponsler et al. that highlights the importance of pollinator-friendly woody plant genera.  In managed greenspaces, it is often assumed that pollinator communities are supported by a variety of ornamental horticulture. However, Sponsler and our pollinator team members know that many ornamental [...]

Another Field Season Complete

In the fall of 2018, our team completed another field season tracking the environmental horticulture plants that are visited by pollinators. Some preliminary patterns are now starting to emerge, with a few plant species appearing to be highly attractive to pollinators, but many other plant species are not-at-all attractive to pollinators. In California, for instance, [...]

*Research Published*: Results from Pollen Analysis

Pollen pellets, sorted by color for pesticide residue testing. Dr. Kim Stoner and her team have published pesticide residue results from their pollen analysis work. To understand which ornamental horticulture plants bees were visiting, the team had set out honey bee hives in the middle of environmental horticulture plant nurseries. The honey bees would leave [...]

Weather, Natural Disasters, and Wildlife: Impacts on our Field Work

Field work is a wonderful chance to get outside and collect data. When researchers want to study the bees that visit plants, field work usually means being outside on a warm day, looking at flowers and counting bees. Could it be any easier? It turns out that many things can get in the way of [...]

*Research Published*: Identifying the Woody Plants That Attract Pollinators

After countless hours of capturing and identifying the bees that visit woody plants, Drs. Bernadette Mach and Daniel Potter have published their research! Using sweep nets to sample bees on woody plants in an urban area. A selection of the bees caught on one type of woody plant. Before starting their research, Drs. Mach and [...]

Native v. Non-Native Plant Sites Established

Native and non-native plants newly planted at a nursery in California. (Photo by Lea Corkidi.) In addition to our core plant sites comparing annual and herbaceous perennial ornamental plants [Xlink to previous postX], we established an additional site in California. This site was created to compare levels of pollinator attractiveness between native and non-native nursery [...]

First Field Season Complete

Our first summer of tracking the pollinators that visit ornamental plants is complete! Student researcher holding small vacuum used to collect pollinators off of annual flower plots at Michigan State University. (Photo by Erica Hotchkiss.) Throughout the summer, our research teams across five states made morning and afternoon visits to each of our plant sites. [...]

Pollen Pellet Collection Has Begun

Our researchers have begun to collect pollen pellets from honey bees. A pollen pellet is a clump of pollen grains resulting from a bee’s travels through flowers. As a honey bee visits each flower, she collects pollen grains, mixes them with a little nectar, and packs them onto her hind leg, forming the pellet. Arrow [...]