Oregon State University Extension Service

96 Mia Park – Urban Prairie Restoration for Bees (in English)


Speaker 1: From the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is Pollination, a podcast that tells the stories of researchers, land managers, and concerned citizens making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators. I'm your host, Dr. Adoni Melopoulos, assistant professor in pollinator health in the Department of Horticulture. On past episodes of Pollination, there have been two real burning concerns around restoring landscapes for pollinators. The first one is, if you do specific restorations, will it increase diversity and abundance of pollinators?

And the second one is whether small restored fragments can really make a difference in a larger landscape. And I had just the person to address these burning questions, Dr. Mia Park. Now, Dr. Park is a postdoctoral fellow in the biological science department at North Dakota State University. And she's been addressing these thorny questions in a very specific restoration context, namely prairie restoration in urban areas in North Dakota.

Dr. Park has some interesting methodologies for testing these questions, and her preliminary results are really interesting. So I hope you enjoy this episode. I also just want to remind you, we're coming up to 100th episode and we're looking for questions from our listeners. You can leave or leave those questions on my voicemail, 541-737-3139 or email them to me at info at OregonBeeProject.org. Also, we're taking application forms for our five day native bee taxonomy course here at Oregon State University in July.

Visit OregonBeeProject.org backslash B School 2019 to put your application in. Hope you enjoy the episode. All right, I am so excited to finally have Dr. Mia Park on pollination.

Welcome to pollination. Thank you so much for having me. And you're all the way in North Dakota. South Dakota. That's right. North Dakota. I'm in the cargo of North Dakota. Yes. Practically Canada.

Speaker 2: Finally spring here.

Speaker 3: I still have a little bit of snow on the front of my lawn. Yep. But it's almost gone.

Speaker 1: Oh dear.

Speaker 2: I'm originally from the West Coast, so it's hard to get used to.

Speaker 1: I imagine it is. I'm originally from there, so I'm getting used to this easily. Okay.

Speaker 2: You don't miss it at all.

Speaker 4: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No. But it is glorious when it is warm again.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Well, and I imagine the thing that is different out there is, you know, when we come to the West Coast, land, you know, big expanses of land are not available. And you know, that's what I want to talk to you about today is prairie restoration. And you know, you've been doing work looking at the role of pollinator plantings in prairie restoration. Can you describe what these restored, where these restored lands you're working are located? They're obviously in a much different place than here. What do they look like? And just tell us a little bit about the history of these restoration efforts. Sure.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I mean, I think one thing about these restoration efforts that is unique is that these are urban prairies that I'm working in. Oh, great. Okay. Yeah, yeah. So the Red River meanders between Moorhead, Minnesota, and Fargo, North Dakota, and it goes right through these cities. And it's relatively undeveloped. It floods very regularly. So we have these flood zones that and lots of green spaces.

And so Audubon Society is very active in the area and they partnered with the cities to create a network of conservation lands. And so that's where these prairies sit. They generally, these grasslands are flanked on the river side by a narrow strip of woods. And then on the other side is a dyke normally that protects the neighborhood or areas across on the other side of the dyke. So these sites are relatively small. They range from eight acres to 100 acres is our largest, but they're mostly eight to 30 acres and in mostly residential areas.

Speaker 1: You know, it reminds me, we had a previous episode with Scott McIver and he was talking about the ravine system in the city of Toronto had a similar came about because of historic floods and has become this really wonderful fragment of biodiversity that kind of runs right through the city of Toronto. This must have like a, there's a, there seems to be a real parallel here.

Speaker 3: Yeah, it started the silver lining of the flooding that happens here really regularly. You know, we were just talking about flooding happening in Oregon. We had some pretty big floods here this spring and I'm actually worried about some of our field sites, especially some new restoration, some new enhancements that happened last fall. I'm not sure they made it, but yes, these are regularly flooded areas that Audubon and the cities are managing in a manner where people in urban areas can enjoy nature and in a way that can support wildlife. We regularly see turkeys. Yeah, just all sorts of wildlife.

Speaker 1: And so what's a definition of a prairie? What is a prairie as opposed to sort of like a grassland or what's the definition of it?

Speaker 3: Oh man, you're stretching my expertise here.

Speaker 1: You know, just describe it to us like what does it look like? So we've got woodlands on the edges. And so then what would it look like in full glory? Like what does this look like when it's fully flushed out?

Speaker 3: Well, so in a sense in these systems, we don't even know what the original prairie would have looked like. I mean, there's nothing left along the Red River to tell us. But what we're trying to do here in the cities is take these, whatever mostly, just open grassland and introduce some form of diversity. So introduce some flowering landscapes with native plants. And when the enhancements actually work, it's a beautiful meadow of flowers.

Speaker 1: I can imagine running right through the city of this wild space that's everybody can enjoy. But also maybe the bees. I think we've had previous episodes where we've explored this idea of small high quality habitat in urban areas and what they do. Can you, what kind of questions would you, you know, let's say you want to, let's say, I could imagine it has some effect, but what kind of research questions would you pose to sort of look whether these restored landscapes now plugged with some forbs and some pollinator rich plants? How do we know whether it's having these bigger effects?

Speaker 3: Yeah, that's a great question. I think one of the challenges, like you said, of these studies is you can go and you can monitor the bee abundance and diversity at these sites, but we don't know if the restoration activity is just drawing in bees from the surrounding areas or if it's actually supporting and building populations.

Speaker 1: Oh, right. Right. So you could, it could be the case that you're not really building anything. It's just all the bees from all the neighborhood settle there. And if you walk through it, you just see a lot of bees, but it doesn't mean. Right.

Speaker 3: Right. Yeah, sure. So it could be this attractive. You're just kind of attracting the bees from the neighborhood. So, I mean, most fundamentally in this system, no one really knows about the pollinators in these cities. So we're just establishing whether there are pollinators in these green spaces. I would assume so.

Who are they? And then I'm really interested in that central question of whether these small fragments actually benefit the populations. Can they actually help build the bees and then also improve their health?

And so I am doing the, or your typical monitoring with netting along transfects and counting bee numbers and diversity, but I'm also introducing my own bee, what I call a sentinel bee, the self-out-belief cutting bee, as this experimental organism that we can introduce in a standardized way at these sites, at sites that are not enhanced and sites that are enhanced with pollinator plantings. And we can come start comparing their reproductive success. We can start comparing their nutritional status. We can start comparing some other features that tell us a little more about whether that restoration action actually is benefiting the bees.

Speaker 1: This is really interesting. We had two previous episodes. One with Sarah Galbraith from here at OSU who was using mason bees as a sentinel, but you're using a different bee. And this bee, I think Jim Cain, we had on an episode talked a little bit about it, but what is this bee, this leaf cutting bee? And tell us a little bit about your sentinel sites. Sure.

Speaker 3: It's not, I mean, it is similar to mason bees. So each female lays its own eggs. It forges for itself. Unlike a queen, a honeybee queen or a bumblebee queen. Mason bees and off-elf-elief cutting bees are great in terms of sort of representing what, how a site will impact native bees because most native bees are solitary like that. Gotcha. Like a mason bee, they'll nest in sort of a tube structure and they'll start laying their eggs in the back of the tube and sequentially building more cells. Oh, okay. But instead of using mud like a mason bee, they'll actually cut leaf pieces and the cells out of leaves.

Speaker 1: So they're going through the prairie and they're not only looking for pollen and nectar, but they're also looking for something to chop up into little discs to bring home and make their nest in these tubes.

Speaker 3: Absolutely. And I think a lot of gardeners will notice these round discs cut out of their rose leaves or I see, oh, I'm forgetting that if you, you'll often see them on seedlings. Little seedling leaves will have these round, these perfectly round discs.

Speaker 1: I remember back in Canada where we worked with the leaf cutting industry in southern Alberta, one grower had buckwheat and he planted a rose specifically for it. And they just tore, they just like kept making little discs. They have preferences. So they don't go to every plant uniformly.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It needs to be a strong enough leaf to protect their babies inside their cells, but you know, not too strong. So yeah, like you said, this bee is a commercially available bee. It's bred for alfalfa pollination. So that makes it a nice press because we can just order it in gallon buckets.

Speaker 1: In bucket. You got a bucket of bees.

Speaker 2: Gallon buckets of bees.

Speaker 3: They take out these fruit cells, these cells, like these little capsules made out of leaves, they look like pills and they ship them to us in buckets.

Speaker 1: Is this like, you know, you get a shoebox of chicks and you get a bucket of bees. It's like, these are like standard units.

Speaker 3: I think we buy per gallon.

Speaker 1: OK, so you have a gallon of these little cells, these little leaf cells. Tell us how you. So tell us how, well, I guess what would be the key question? Like, what would you if you let's say you went to a site and coming right back to this question of whether it's, you know, just attracting bees or is actually building bees? How would you test that using this senile?

Speaker 3: Yeah, so what what I've done is I've released a standardized number of bees. And this is, you know, following other people's model. Other people have done this with other kinds of mason bees, putting them out, releasing them as adults, making sure we release both females and males and then letting them establish in nest boxes that you also provide out in the field.

Speaker 1: So one just a quick question. This is a prairie, so there's no like, you know, tree to hang them on. Where do you what do you where do you hang these things?

Speaker 2: Yeah, so I just use a fence post. OK, take a regular fence post from Home Depot or Lowe's. OK.

Speaker 3: And we attach a square. It's almost like styrofoam. It's it's made out of plastic. It's the same sort of nest material box. It's like a plastic box. Right. The tubes drilled in it and the commercial.

Speaker 1: People who do this commercially have these the styrofoam, the custom made styrofoam little blocks. OK, got it. Hang this block out.

Speaker 3: OK, we take what commercial beekeepers of the belief kind of beekeepers use and we just chop it. We cut it up into smaller boxes. OK. And then maybe, you know, we have a grid of holes that are the entrance to a tube, maybe 12 by 12. OK. And within each of these holes, we insert a paper tube.

OK. So these bees will readily nest within these paper tubes. And every week we can go and we can pull these tubes. We can monitor.

Basically, they will fill one of these nests with about six or seven bird cells. Wow. And we'll pull them once a week. And what's fantastic is we use an X-ray machine to non-destructively take data on how many babies that female laid in that tube. How many of those have a viable baby? Because sometimes their eggs don't actually produce a larva. But yeah, we can actually see the larva through these X-rays.

Speaker 1: Oh, because inside the little the little pill thing, it may be empty. Yes, you wouldn't be able to see inside that little leaf wrap. Oh, cool. Very cool. OK. Keep going. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Absolutely. So we can't see inside these these leaf pills. But an X-ray allows us to readily see whether there's pollen inside, what stage of development the larvae are at. And then we keep the we take the bird cells out of these straws, put them in little individual compartments and can follow how well they overwinter. So they overwinter in these cells as they look like larvae.

They're called pre-pupa. And we can see how many of them successfully come out the next year. How big the babies are. And so that gives us a metric reproductive success. I guess something about, you know, like how if that population is going to grow or shrink.

Speaker 1: Yeah, right. So if you had a lot of them, you would say, oh, this is they're doing whatever is around here is doing great because they're having lots of babies. They're not just. Huh.

Right. But one thing I did want to sort of like punctuate, because I think people are so used to working with mason bees in the Pacific Northwest and having, you know, you know, wintering as a kind of like an adult that kind of is not active, that in leaf cutting bees is a late summer bee. They're not wintering as. They're still, if you opened it up, it'd be white inside still.

Speaker 3: Yeah, they look like big fat larvae. Right. For the upper leaf cutting bee, the larva consumes all of the provision, this pollen and nectar ball. And then they go into what's called this pre-pupil stage where they're, they're just, yeah, they look like maggots, like a big larva.

Speaker 1: And I guess the next year you, you have to, if you're going to be a little bit older, if you want to get them to release, you have to complete their development before, because you said you were releasing them as adults.

Speaker 3: Correct. So we store them over winter, typically at six degrees in a cold fridge type of environment. And then we have to take them out three weeks before we want to release them. So once they're taken out of cold storage and put into a warm incubator, they'll take them three weeks to develop, go through metamorphosis and become adults.

Speaker 1: So you've got like a clock starting. Okay. All right. Let's, let's take a quick break. I want to come back and I want to, um, because I've now I got to think my listeners and myself both have a picture of how this setup is. Let's, we want to dive into some of the findings you're having getting. But we're really back. Okay. So tell us a little bit about the study site. So tell us where are you evaluated these restorations? Sure.

Speaker 3: So I think I mentioned that all these sites are along this floodplain and the Red River. Um, and that Audubon has been instrumental. And so Audubon Dakota has actually created this network of conservation lands along the river called the urban woods and prairie initiatives. And right now they currently have 21 distinct sites. Some of them are all woods. Most of them are a mix of grassland and prairie. And of those 21, they've, they've successfully established four pollinator plantings. And I use those as part of my research. Okay.

Speaker 1: So you've got, you've got the land that's been successfully restored and land that isn't. And so tell us a little bit about how you, the experimental design, like what, what do you, what were your questions and how did you use these Sentinel leaf cutting bees to test that? Sure.

Speaker 3: Absolutely. So again, the central question, the burning question for me has been, do, do these restoration practices even work? Are we even helping build pollinator populations? So I thought really carefully about a control and what I did is, um, it's this unique opportunity to take these four enhanced sites within this urban woods and prairie initiative.

And I grabbed four other sites that I compare that are basically managed in an identical way. The only differences they didn't receive a pollinator plant. Yeah. Um, and so I paired them so that they're kind of close to each other.

They kind of are the same size. Um, and at these, at these pairs, we survey the pollinators and the floor resources along these transacts and with netting. And then we also introduce, um, these alfalfa leaf cutting bees at each of the sites with their nest box. And so every site has a nest box and every site is visited for netting, um, and floor resource surveys. Okay.

Speaker 1: And so you would predict that the leaf you'd get, like you described earlier, you'd just get a lot more cocoons, um, in the, in the, these restored sites if you're, they're truly kind of serving that function.

Speaker 3: Yes, exactly. So we released, I think, what was it, 20 females and maybe 30 females and 45 males. And what I didn't realize, I'm new to this kind of methodology. What I didn't realize is actually the initial establishment, how many females even established reflects the quality of the habitat at the site. So I had way more females even established and stay to nest at the sites with more flowers than they did where it was just a grassland.

Speaker 1: So if you only looked at cocoons, you would not realize that there were just more females that hung around to start with. Right. Oh, that's fascinating.

Speaker 3: So we paid attention to how many females actually established. And then every week we would go and pull whatever tubes nest that were capped. So you can tell a nest is done because they'll actually fill the entrance with their leaf materials. And so we just pull those with fires, take them back to the lab and X-ray them and monitor that date that's the offspring data. We count how many babies. And then, you know, we standardize it by how many females started, how many females were there. We can also look at things like parasitism rates.

So there's this idea that the longer a mom has to go forage because maybe there's not enough flowers, that the parasite will have a higher success rate of actually getting to her fruit cells and parasitizing her babies. So we look at that too.

Speaker 1: Okay. So just to reiterate that point. So that if a female, one theory is that if a female is in a degraded site and she really has to search to get her pollen, she's going to be away for a long time. And that gives an opportunity for a wasp or a cuckoo bee to sneak in, lay its egg. And so you would not, you might not see that in terms of the counts, but when you X-ray, you'd see, oh, yeah.

Speaker 3: And when we actually emerge them, either some of the bees, a proportion of the bees will actually come out the same summer if they were laid early enough, or they overwinter. And when the offspring come out, these, actually, it's mostly these tiny parasites, parasitoids, tiny, tiny black wasps. There'll be, I don't know, 20 of them that come out of a single bee body. And they'll emerge a week before an adult would normally emerge. Yeah.

Speaker 1: And I remember with leaf cutting bee culture that those people, when they're incubating them in these big incubators, those wasps can come out and they can re, they can go, they can really do a lot of damage in this, where they've got black lights in these buildings to sort of attract them.

Speaker 2: And, oh, that's a good tip.

Speaker 1: Oh yeah. Talk to those guys. They always deal with these parasites. It's like, you know, you know, from the people who are doing apoculture were so used to mites, but for most of our native bees, there are a whole host of, I guess honeybees don't really have like was parasites in the same way.

Speaker 3: Yeah, you're right. I never heard of that. Yeah. Yeah, it can be a mess. And this was my first, I definitely had a parasite problem that they would emerge. And then, yep, go ahead and re-infect or attack the other little food cells that were exposed in my trays.

Speaker 1: Okay. So you've got these different metrics. You don't have just cocoons, but you also have establishing females and rates of parasitism. And do you have any preliminary results that you can share with us? Just I imagine you want to publish this work. So you've got to be a little embargoed. But tell us, give us a gist. Does it look like these sites are helping?

Speaker 3: Yeah, sure. Yeah. So one of the strongest correlation that we saw was that the more flowers just don't care, don't pay attention to what the plant diversity was. But just how many flowers were at a site that had the strongest positive correlation with not only alfalfa leaf, Cunningby reproduction, how many babies they had, but also the netted pollinator abundance and richness.

So that was just a clear trend, which was great to see right away. What we didn't see is the benefit of the enhancement. We didn't actually see that the pollinator plantings had enhanced the quality of the habitat relative to the control. So we didn't see a difference in pollinator abundance or richness. We didn't see a difference in offspring by the alfalfa leaf Cunningby between the control and enhance. And I think largely that's because these early pollinator plantings, they just didn't add enough orbs in their seed mix. But there's too much grass.

So they're pretty sparse. And what I didn't realize is that the control sites would have weedy flowering species that have resources for the bees. I've always not liked the soil, especially when you have to walk through a transect of it. But man, it was covered with all sorts of pollinator.

Speaker 1: There's a study out here. We do need to get Sandy DeBando from our Hermiston Research Station. But we're restoration sites. But she was looking at it was if you looked at abundance of bees on flowers, there's like, you can see little bars for everything. And then there's thistle. And it's this big, big bar. It's like, Oh my God, a lot of bees on a vessel.

Speaker 2: Monarch butterflies, all sorts of bumbler. I mean, huge diversity. Yeah. So it's an interesting, you know, dilemma, because these are noxious weeds that Audubon is actively controlling for. And yet when they cut those down, we're losing a resource for the pollinator. So there's a trade off.

Speaker 1: It's different. I'm hoping to get we have a person who Susan Waters, who's up in Olympia, where she has done some research where in that restoration staff, maybe not being so aggressive, like because you have bee communities that are gonna are there and you need to keep them going through the restoration steps. So you may need may tolerate some weeds for in the transition period.

Speaker 3: Sure, that makes sense. Yeah. I will say that there is one site that was most recently established by Audubon. And it is gangbusters. Amazing. And the the offspring production, the pollinator abundance and richness were just way off the charts. And it's kind of this outlier that's driving these results. And so, you know, we can see in our data, the adaptive process that Audubon is taking to increase the floral for proportion in the seed mixes and actually showing being able to show them, at least for one site that yeah, it makes a difference. If you add more flowers, bees will come.

Speaker 1: It must be nice to have this really kind of targeted research as part of that adaptive process to be able to sort of like, okay, here's here's here's what's working and be able to in the next iteration be able to, you know, get it refined the process.

Speaker 3: Absolutely. Yeah, it's been a really great collaboration with Audubon Society.

Speaker 1: Okay, fantastic. So this is a really great way to inform restoration decisions and tell us what you're going to do next, like what's the next step in this in this iterative process? Absolutely.

Speaker 3: One big thing is that I recognize we're really limited with a small number of sites. So I'm excited that Audubon Society established four more pollinator planted sites last fall. So that'll double our sites.

So one, repeating the same thing, but hopefully to double the number of pairs. Of control and enhance. And then also I've spent the winter learning how to do these lab assays where I can measure the macronutrient content of bees.

So the number of the amount of protein, the amount of carbs and fat that these bees actually have in their bodies. Really? Going to. So what's fabulous about this alpha leaf cutting bee is I can take the offspring that are about to emerge this spring, this summer, I can freeze them and grind them up. And I can actually look at bees from, you know, like a successfully enhanced site to just a grass site. And I can see we can actually detect whether the enhanced site actually produces what I call a healthier bee, like a bee that has more protein or more fat or more carbs in a, you know, in a pretty cool standardized way.

Speaker 1: Oh yeah, that's so great. So you just like, you know, oh, this bee's got nothing. It's like, it's just a shell of a bee like knock, knock, knock. And this one's like rearing to go out and make lots of cells and reproduce.

Speaker 3: So what's cool about the offspring, right, is they reflect the quality of the forage at that site that the mother foraged on. So we can, you know, maybe there is a lot of forage at the enhanced site, but maybe it doesn't provide, I don't know. I mean, my prediction is that it provides a better quality forage as well as quantity. So I'm hoping to see that the bees are somehow more robust.

Speaker 1: This is so, so exciting, Dr. Park, because it's not only, I think we've already heard some episodes where people look at like number of offspring, but I think the parasitism question, the question of the quality of those offspring, all of those elements are new. I think this is really great. This really fills out a picture as to being able to assess something and say, okay, this is clearly not just the bees aren't just attracted here and not having good reproductive outcomes. It's like, no, these bees are doing better. This is great. Thank you.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I mean, it's that one way of going beyond the numbers because you could have numbers, but if they're not healthy or they're on the verge of starvation, we wouldn't know that unless we do some of these other assays. And so it's been fabulous to be part of a lab here at Nartica State University, where I work with physiologists who do a lot of these kinds of lab studies that I have never done before. Fantastic.

Speaker 1: Well, let's take one more break and we've got our host to questions that we asked our host asked our guests. We'll be back in a second. Okay, we're back. So I'm really kind of curious of how you're going to answer these questions. The first one is, do you have a book recommendation, a book that you really want people to know about?

Speaker 3: I do. And it's a little ironic because of all the bees. I don't study honeybees, but I actually recommend Honey Bee Democracy by Thomas Sealy. Good. Yeah. And I used to teach at University of North Dakota, a freshman seminar, it's like an introductory science class. And so I introduced this book with freshmen. And what I love about it is that Sealy is able to capture that sense of discovery and wonder that I think drives most of us scientists, but doesn't necessarily convey through textbooks in the classroom. So he does a really good job of showing that research is fun.

It's a way to, you know, way to satiate curiosity. And it also is timely because it talks about the benefits and power of democracy through the lens of a honeybee society and gives us insights into how honeybees make decisions. And they really make decisions by individuals assessing for themselves, the situation by communicating back and forth. It's kind of this model of what human democracy could be.

Speaker 1: You know, the one thing I really, I really want to just punctuate that point. Like I do think the first point, the second point I think is really important, is really amazing.

There's a tradition of this going back like E.O. Wilson of like, you know, the social insects and kind of human societies, which I always think is fascinating. But I do think there's something, I mentioned this before, but I think Dr. Sealy's work is that the sustained research question, this is like, his books are not like a compilation of kind of loosely connected studies. There's like, he can sustain a question like I've got, this is the big question. And here are all the ways I've sort of explored it. It's remarkable. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And I love it because he shows sort of the MacGyver element of doing research, you know, just the ingenuity.

Speaker 2: That's, you know, for my generation. But yeah, the ingenuity that you need when tackling a question. I need to get out of question.

Speaker 1: Well, you were at Cornell, weren't you? Yes.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So I mean, that was sort of the impetus is that I'd met him. I was interested in the book, but I was really pleased to read it. And then to have my students respond to it too, many of whom didn't, you know, weren't interested in entomology, but it was a fun book to read.

Speaker 1: That was for my own science background. I remember it was a developmental biology textbook, but I really loved it and the instructor because they, it wasn't about a set of facts is like, how is this, how is this an evolving process of thought? Like, how does one start with like, you know, this and it just kind of go down the rabbit hole? And his books are like going down a rabbit hole. You're like, let me lead you down this rabbit hole.

Speaker 3: Yeah, each experiment, he's, he got, he has a process each experiment builds on the other, you know, it's, and it takes a lot of time and work. And I just think he conveys that really beautifully in his writing is beautiful too.

Speaker 1: And it's such a great idea to use that as a undergrad tax.

Speaker 3: That's, that's like, okay. All right. Educators out there, take note.

Speaker 1: Our next question for you is, do you have a go to tool? Is there a tool that you find indispensable in the work that you do?

Speaker 3: Am I allowed to say my phone? Does everybody say that?

Speaker 1: Lots of people do. I remember Dave Phipps, the golf course superintendent of America representative for Morgan said his galaxy, yes, seven, I think he had it.

Speaker 2: Yeah, my eyes, but I mean, I use it for everything to get to my sites, to keep back a time to time my transects to take pictures. Okay.

Speaker 1: So let me, let me be more specific. Like, is there an app that you really like?

Speaker 3: Besides the weather app that I check daily? I'm doing fieldwork.

Speaker 1: Kerry weather is funny that way. It can be beautiful. And then it hails.

Speaker 3: I do, I did start using, oh, is it the bumblebee? Oh, I turned my phone off. It's the bumblebee watch. So those are fantastic. It's a fantastic resource or has been for me to identify the bumblebees in the field and learn more about that. And then I have actually the department of natural resources in Minnesota has an amazing flower guide. So I use that a lot while in the field.

Speaker 1: All right. And for listeners, we'll put all the links on the show notes if you want to follow, follow up and load up these apps. That's great. So I know you've worked with a lot of different pollinators over your career, but is there one that just you just have like a personal connection to you just love to see it?

Speaker 3: I really it makes me so happy when I see bombas turnerius in the field. And I feel sort of funny saying that because it's a pretty common bee out east and even in the Midwest, but I grew up in the West Coast. So when I see it, it just feels like a tree and it's orange, right?

Speaker 1: I'm sorry. Is it orange? Is that an orange?

Speaker 3: Yes. The orange belt belted bumblebee. So it has this vibrant orange belt on its abdomen. It's yeah, you can't miss it. That's just lovely. It's beautiful.

Speaker 1: The orange and some of the bumblebees are so intense. It has so there's we had a previous episode with Brianna Ezray from Penn State, where she looked at the color morphs. So we have an orange. We have a bombas melanopagus out here that goes orange in the north of the state, but it's got a black belt on the and I think there was just a paper out. Actually, I'm gonna put it on the show notes. Somebody figured out what genes get turned on to get the orange.

Speaker 2: It's just so unique. Yeah, I did look on a map the other day and I don't think you see bombas.

Speaker 3: You don't know we don't have it here.

Speaker 1: No, but I remember when I was in Nova Scotia, I would see it. So it was it was out there, but not here. And we do have a lot of black and yellow, which is okay. It's okay. But you know, orange in your life.

Speaker 3: That's what I love about entomology. I mean, every time I look under a spoke out of B or any kind of insect, it's just discovering a whole new world. Beautiful.

Speaker 1: Well, we hope your snow melts at a good pace. And then you will be on your way and good luck with your field season. We're looking forward to catching up with you a little ways down the road.

Speaker 3: Thank you so much for having me. Fantastic.

Speaker 1: Thanks so much for listening. Show notes with information discussed in each episode can be found at pollinationpodcast.oregonstate.edu. We'd also love to hear from you and there are several ways to connect. For one, you can visit our website to post an episode-specific comment, suggest a future guest or topic, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also email us at [email protected]. Finally, you can tweet questions or comments or join our Facebook or Instagram communities. Just look us up at OSU Pollinator Health. If you like the show, consider letting iTunes know by leaving us a review or rating.

It makes us more visible, which helps others discover pollination. See you next week. Bye.

Dr. Mia Park is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Biological Sciences Department at North Dakota State University, Fargo.

Dr. Park’s research asks, “Who are our wild pollinators? How are they impacted by anthropogenic disturbance? How can we manage landscapes in a manner that supports their abundance and health?”.

Current projects focus on benefits of pollinator planting in both urban and rural settings for pollinator health. Previously, Dr. Park taught in the Integrated Studies Program at University of North Dakota. She received her PhD in Entomology and MS in Natural Resources at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Dr. Park is passionate about insect conservation and has worked with non-profit organizations around the world.

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Links Mentioned:

Dr. Park’s Book Recommendation: Honey Democracy (2010, T. D. Seeley)

Go to tool: Bumble Bee Watch

Favorite Pollinator: Bombus ternarius (Orange-Belted Bumble Bee)

Note: Link to a study that explains where the orange comes from in one specific PNW bumble bee

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Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/podcast/pollination-podcast/96-mia-park-urban-prairie-restoration-bees