Children Discover Native Pollinators at BugFest

On September 19, 2015, almost 32,000 kids and adults gathered at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh to celebrate BugFest. The free event featured over 100 bug-related exhibits, crafts, games, and activities, and a number of presentations. The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station’s (SRS) booth “Buggy About Pollinators” was a big…  More 

U.S. Forest Service & the University of Texas at San Antonio

A recent agreement between the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) will provide funding to support the newly established Educating Youth in Environmental Science Program (EYES). SRS is contributing $24,000 towards the program, which will provide environmental learning opportunities for children in San Antonio, Texas. Ultimately, the…  More 

SRS Celebrates Pollinator Week 2015

On June 18, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) celebrated National Pollinator Week by inviting community members and Station employees to a self-guided interpretive garden stroll through the SRS People’s Garden located at Station headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina. The pollinator garden features native flowering plants that provide nectar, pollen, and habitat to…  More 

Changing Forest Conditions and Pollinator Decline

“Forests in North America have changed rapidly during the past century,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Jim Hanula. 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…  More 

Boy Scouts Volunteer in SRS Pollinator Garden

On Saturday, April 11, Ben Chambers turned 15. He spent his birthday leading a group of 20 Boy Scouts in installing seven permanent sign posts and creating a new seating area in the U.S. Forest Service People’s Garden at the Southern Research Station (SRS) in Asheville, North Carolina. The garden has been a highly collaborative project…  More 

SRS Funds Graduate Student’s Pollinator Study

Through its Partnership Enhancement Initiative, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) provides funding to students – especially minority students – and professors interested in studying natural resource issues. One of the recent grant recipients was Hampton University, a historically black university in Virginia. “The grant funded Michael Mitchell – a Master of Science…  More 

With Privet Gone, 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 

Finding Out More About Native Bees

When people think about bees, it’s often honeybees that come to mind. Native to Eurasia, honeybees pollinate apple, peach and almond trees, watermelons, cucumbers, and many other food crops. In many areas, beekeepers take to the highway with their colonies, traveling to whatever crop is blooming and in need of pollination. “Honeybees are an agricultural…  More 

Tracking Bees on Experimental Forests

At first sight, the nine plastic cups in a grassy yard at Bent Creek Experimental Forest don’t look like part of a nationwide monitoring survey. But the cups are actually simple bee traps, and a number of U.S. Forest Service facilities are part of a network of bee monitoring stations that stretch across the country.…  More 

Removing Privet Helps Restore Native Bee Populations

When plants travel the world, they escape the checks and balances of their ancestral ecosystems and can multiply without bounds, competing with native plants for light, nutrients, and water. Do non-native invasive plants also disrupt native bee populations? Jim Hanula, research entomologist with the SRS Insects, Diseases and Invasive Plants unit, explored this question by comparing bee…  More