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 need to be able to get to a patch of our study plants, Claytonia virginica and Claytonia caroliniana, which are easily found throughout the Eastern US and southeastern Ontario. We’ll help you learn to distinguish the plants and pollinators, and assist you with questions along the way. We ask for about 2 hours of observations over the course of three weeks, all during sunny weather. As you observe, you’ll fill out data sheets (which we will provide), which you will then mail or email to us along with any comments or concerns.
To volunteer, please email spring.beaut...@gmail.com with your name and location. We'll get in touch with you soon with more information!
Thank you very much,