|By Maryann Whitman
Wild Ones will have a new National President
when Carol Andrews is inducted at the
Annual Meeting in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday,
I read Joe’s final “Notes” with
a deep sense of appreciation for his style
of leadership. True to form, Joe said “What
have we accomplished during my term?”
is a good time for us to remember that
the President does not work alone. He or
she is not a one-person force. We all work
together to make things happen. This same
idea is expressed in the fact that Joe had
taking the quarterly meetings to the chapters.
That is something that would not have
happened without the President’s instigation
and the direct cooperation of our Executive
Director, our other National Board members,
and the local chapter’s board members.
This was an action that
brought us together – made each a direct
part of the administration. We have excellent
people in leadership roles in our organization.
president brings to the office his
or her own style. Welcome, Carol.
of flowers draw more
buzz-y-ness than solitary specimens
of Entomology, Gordon Frankie, has been
studying urban gardens in the San Francisco
area for a number of years. Here are some
of his observations about bees:
• At least 76 species of bees (73 natives
and 3 exotics) have been collected from urban
residential areas of Albany and N. Berkeley,
in northern California.
• Native California bees are six times
more likely to visit native California plants
than exotics. They do also go to weedy exotics
for nectar and pollen, especially if the plants
are part of a family that has many native
representatives (eg., Asteraceae). Frankie
recommends tolerating these plants through
their flowering cycle, then yanking them before
they set seed.
• Urban bees are unevenly distributed
in urban neighborhoods. Gardens with 10
or more attractive bee plants flowering simultaneously
had the highest bee diversity and abundance.
By comparison, attractive bee plants that
are isolated in gardens attract a lower
diversity and abundance of bees.
• Apart from
the social bumblebees, 70 percent of native
bees are solitary, nesting either in cavities
in deadwood or tunnels in the soil. Therefore,
leave some deadwood around your garden,
and avoid MM and BPI – (Mulch
Madness) and (Black Plastic
Insanity) – leave some bare soil.
buzz buzz on Capitol Hill
Protection Act, recently introduced in
the Senate, would direct USDA offices to
hand out conservation funds to help and
encourage producers to develop wildlife habitat,
and to develop farming practices that could
benefit pollinators. Such activity could
entail something as simple as leaving permanent
buffer strips running through their farm
Sounds like old fashioned hedge-rows
to me. Perhaps we need to suggest that
these strips be dedicated to native flowering
Memorable quotes are best served
Albert Einstein has been quoted
as saying that humanity could not survive
more than four years without pollinators.
Edward O. Wilson, the Harvard professor,
naturalist, and ant researcher, is said
to have stated that without pollinators,
humans would only live a few months. Cell
phones are said to mess up honey bees.
the record, what E. O.Wilson wrote was, “So
important are insects and other land dwelling
arthropods, that if all were
to disappear, humanity probably could not
last more than a few months.” (The
Diversity of Life, p. 133). This is quite
different from only pollinators disappearing.
Einstein quote has been debunked by the
Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem. Never said it.
As for cell
phones being responsible for Colony Collapse
Disorder of honey bees, this “original
research” was based on two hives into
which not cell phones, but rather the base
units of household cordless phones had
I don’t know the name
of the wag who suggested that bees, being
social creatures, would probably appreciate
“People believe what they want to believe.” Some
wise, and many not-so-wise, folks have made
this observation – especially when facts
are scarce and the situation is scary.
Maryann is Editor of the Wild Ones Journal, and comes to the position with an extensive background in environmental matters of all kinds.
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