Spring Beauty and the Bees - Volunteer pollinator monitoring
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Feb 27, 2012, 4:50:37 PM2/27/12
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This spring, I am enlisting the help of interested volunteers to observe local pollinators of spring beauty (Claytonia virginica and Claytonia caroliniana). While spring beauty is rarely visited by butterflies, I thought you all might enjoy learning about some native bees and flies, as well.
This project aims to document changing pollinator populations - by monitoring the insects that visit spring beauty throughout the eastern US, we can determine how pollinator communities change depending on the year, the location, and the season. This information will help us better understand the biology of native pollinators, as well as help us determine the best way to evaluate their value for native plant reproduction. At the same time, you will learn more about the native bees and flies visiting our early spring flora, and spend some time outdoors during the lovely spring weather.
To help, you'll need to locate a patch of spring beauty, Claytonia virginica or Claytonia caroliniana, which are common in the Eastern US and Southeastern Canada. You'll find information on our website on how to distinguish the plants and pollinators and conduct pollinator observations on your own. We ask for about 2 hours of observations over the course of Claytonia bloom, which lasts 2-4 weeks in most areas. As you observe, you’ll fill out the provided data sheets, which you will then email or mail to us.