Definitive New Book on Saproxylic Insects

Bark-feeders, fungus-feeders, wood-borers, and wood-nesting bees – all are saproxylic insects, which means they depend on dead or dying wood. The insects that prey on or parasitize them are also considered saproxylic. “About a third of all forest insect species are saproxylic,” says USDA Forest Service research entomologist Michael Ulyshen. Ulyshen recently edited a definitive…  More 

Celebrating National Pollinator Week

On June 19, 2018, more than 50 people gathered in Asheville, North Carolina to experience pollinators and native plants. They were celebrating National Pollinator Week. Buncombe County Extension Master Gardeners and the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station organized the event. Asheville GreenWorks, Bee City USA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and many others…  More 

Planting for Pollinators

On a misty November day, 15 gardeners gathered in front of the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They brought their shovels and many pots of native plants. “We installed about 30 different species,” says U.S. Forest Service forestry technician Virginia McDaniel. McDaniel designed the garden with Susan Hooks, Ouachita National Forest botanist. They…  More 

Montford Community Center Visits SRS Pollinator Garden

On July 21st, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station hosted 36 children between the ages of 5 and 11. The children attend summer camp at the Montford Community Center in Asheville, NC. It was already hot at 10 a.m. when the kids hopped off the bus. Jason Anderson gave a short safety talk and…  More 

Celebrating Pollinator Week 2017

On June 22, 2017, a handful of people braved the rain at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station to celebrate National Pollinator Week. National Pollinator Week was designated by a unanimous U.S. Senate resolution in 2007. The week recognizes pollinators and their importance to natural ecosystems and agriculture. Some pollinator species have drastically declined.…  More 

Bumblebees and Blueberries

Flowering plants and pollinators depend on each other. It’s a global truism, and it’s true on a 440 acre blueberry farm in northern Florida. “Bumblebees are extremely efficient pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Joseph O’Brien. “In the time it takes a honeybee to pollinate a single blueberry flower, a bumblebee can pollinate as…  More 

Bees Prefer Open Habitats

Bees are a critical part of many flowering plants’ reproductive cycles. “By some estimates, nearly 90 percent of the world’s flowering plants are pollinated by bees, butterflies, beetles, or other pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research entomologist Michael Ulyshen. “There is also growing evidence that many pollinators are declining.” In the U.S., there are approximately…  More 

Changes in Forest Conditions Have Contributed to Pollinator Decline

Forests in North America have changed rapidly over the past century. Before European settlement, forests were a mosaic of open pine and hardwood forests, prairies, and woodland savannas. Recent studies have found that forests with sun-filled openings and those with open canopies —  where the branches from adjacent trees don’t touch or overlap — favor pollinators…  More 

When Privet’s Removed, Native Plants and Pollinators Return

Forests infested with privet invoke a kind of despair in people attuned to the problem of invasive plants. Privet invades a forest quickly, sprawling across the understory and growing into thickets that crowd out native plants and change the very ecology of an area. Even if the woody shrub can be removed effectively, can a…  More 

Bees and Butterflies: Celebrating the Small and Mighty

Bees, beetles, butterflies, and other creatures shuttle pollen between flowers in the vital process of pollination. Without pollinators, most flowering plants would be unable to reproduce, and life as we know it would cease. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) recently celebrated National Pollinator Week in North Carolina by hosting a garden tour in Asheville…  More