Native Iowa Butterflies and Moths: Sulphurs and blues

Photo of eastern tailed-blue

As our Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center wraps up construction and we look forward to finishing fundraising for exhibits and adding some children’s museum-quality displays, we have butterflies and bees on the mind. That’s why we’re taking a look at some of the most common types of butterflies and moths in…

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Native Iowa butterflies and moths: Skippers and swallowtails

Photo of an eastern swallowtail

More than 70 species of butterflies have been spotted in Dickinson County. And yet, the order Lepidoptera is made up of about 90 percent moths. So between butterflies and moths, there is a lot of fluttering action going on around us. (Learn the difference between butterflies and moths.) During the first Pollinator Education Series program, naturalist Ashley…

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10 children’s books all about nature

A great way to get kids interested in nature is to read books that have inspiring characters and animals that also love the outdoors. Lessons about bees and their pollination skills, the importance of rattlesnakes to the environment, why we should take care of trees and what is neat about bats can all be learned…

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Four recipes that highlight honey

It’s sweet. It’s healthy. It never goes bad. Honey is really an amazing food. (Read “Save the Bees, Save the Honey”) We talk a lot about the importance of bees as pollinators, but sometimes you just have to appreciate the simple fact that they make a wonderful product. It’s easy to incorporate honey into your…

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Six ways native bees differ from honeybees

Photo of a blue bee

People often use the term bee when talking about any kind of buzzing creature outside — it could be a honeybee, a bumble bee, a mason bee, a sweat bee or even a wasp or yellowjacket. However, it’s important to differentiate between the different kinds of bees. That may be difficult since the U.S. has…

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Neonicotinoids and bees: A summary of studies done

Photo of a mason bee covered in pollen

You have probably heard the long name neonicotinoids when the topic of struggling bee populations has come up. But what exactly are these chemicals, and what do they have to do with bees? This is a topic that is long, in-depth and still being studied, but we will do our best to break it down…

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More than 160 snowy owl sightings in Iowa so far this winter

“There’s a snowy owl along Highway 71, just north of Spirit Lake.” The caller on the phone had an excited lilt to her voice, the joy of seeing a snowy owl in Iowa. It seems that plenty of people have gotten to experience the excitement of seeing the largest owl, by weight, in North America.…

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