Posts Tagged ‘pollinators’

Native bees: These bees plastic-wrap their brood cells

Photo of colletes validus

Do you love blueberries? Then you should love the genus Colletes of native bees! These are one of several types of native bees that collect pollen from both highbush and lowbush blueberry flowers. Colletes validus has an elongated, narrow head that helps it fit into the tight flower opening where it eats nectar and collects pollen that will be transferred…

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Native bees: Mason bees are fantastic pollinators

Photo of a blue mason bee

Mason bees might be the best pollinators of all bees. Instead of wetting pollen and putting it in pollen sacs like honeybees, mason bees are covered in hair that collects pollen as they move around, searching for nectar. They can certainly carry a lot of pollen and significant pollinators for apple, cherry and plum trees. (Try…

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Honeybees are not native bees, surprised?

Photo of sweat bee

“I think a lot of people will be surprised to hear honeybees are not native to North or South America; we brought them here for honey production and to pollinate some of our plant species.” (Six ways honeybees differ from native bees) Bryanna Kuhlman, environmental education coordinator for the Dickinson County Conservation Board, will talk…

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2017-18 Monarch overwintering numbers released

Graph of monarch populations

Each winter, pollinator enthusiasts anxiously await monarch population numbers as eastern populations overwinter in the forests of Mexico. In early 2016, we were excited as monarch populations jumped from 1.13 hectares of land covered by overwintering monarchs to 4.01. It was the first rise in population for five years. But in 2017, the numbers dropped…

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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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Help fund family fun at Pollinator Paradise

Photo of stonework completed on construction project

We love pollinators at the Dickinson County Nature Center. And we want to share that love with you. That’s why the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County is continuing to raise funds to complete the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the nature center in Okoboji. (See construction updates here.) Construction began on the $1.7 million addition…

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The biggest festival of the year is Sept. 1!

Photo of a child with a butterfly mask on

We love pollinators at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. That love is shared with hundreds of people during the annual Bee & Butterfly Festival, held 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, this year. “The Bee & Butterfly Festival is our biggest event of the year,” said Kiley Roth, community relations coordinator for Dickinson County…

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9 off-the-wall reasons to attend the Bee & Butterfly Festival

Photo of woman holding an animal by the zoomobile

1. Buy butterfly milkweed. Dickinson County Nature Center staff have grown butterfly milkweed seedlings which will be for sale for $5 each during the Bee & Butterfly Festival 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1. You can buy one or 10 and start your own pollinator garden right in your own yard. 2. Get a free honeystick. If…

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Progress on Pollinator Paradise

Photo of people holding shovels at groundbreaking

Construction on the new Pollinator Paradise addition to the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji is officially underway. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday, July 11, at the nature center, and construction will continue through March 2018. Fundraising is ongoing for Phase 2 of the project, which will be completion of children’s-museum quality exhibits on…

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Westport Schoolhouse and Pollinator Paradise open June 13

Photo of interior of country school

Beautiful script shows the names of students enrolled at Westport No. 5, and rows of Xs represent when they attended class. One’s mind wanders at the dates that don’t have an X. What were the kids doing that day? Were they sick? Did they have to stay home and help with harvest? Was Mom ill…

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