PolliNation is a podcast from Oregon State University Extension Service that tells the stories of researchers, land managers and concerned citizens who are making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators.
A platform to connect, pollinate and inspire leadership and engagement. Author Matthew Harrington from the book Survival of the Hive and subject matter expert on the Millennial generation (1980-2001) discuss the ever-changing landscape of leadership and strategy.
Pesticide applicators across the US needed to become certified and trained. In this episode we explore where this training requirement came from and how it applies to reducing exposure of pollinators to pesticides.
Highbush blueberry is the largest pollinated crop in Oregon and one of the top crops in the US as a whole. Beekeepers report that their colonies can sometimes experience difficulties when pollinating this crop. In this episode we hear about how to keep bees healthy in blueberry production systems.
Lowbush blueberry growers in Atlantic Canada have been increasing bee habitat around their fields by encouraging existing plant communities. In this episode we learn how they do this and the incredible bees that pollinate this crop.
With National Pollinator week next week, we caught up with staff at Pollinator Partnership (P2) to learn about what’s happening to celebrate the week, but also to catch up on growing P2 initiatives; Bee Friendly Farming and the Pollinator Stewards program.
Squash bees were never known to Oregon until a few years ago. This summer Oregonians may see the squash bee Peponapis pruinosa for the first time. Learn about these bees and how to track them in the state on this episode.
Raspberries are not nearly as difficult to pollinate as self-incompatible tree fruit or blueberries. But getting consistent fruit quality still requires finesse. In this episode we cover the pollination requirements of these berries, some of the bees that visit (and nest) in these crops and how to ensure a consistent level of pollination.…
Your honey bees have expanded many fold this spring. Now is the opportunity to split your colonies in half and get two colonies. In this episode we learn all the tricks associated with reliable and quick spring (and summer) and division of colonies.
Mason bees in the subgenus Osmia emerged sometime before the ice-age, likely in Europe and Asia, but they radiated into North America early on in their history, resulting in one of the most beloved solitary bees, the blue orchard bee. In this episode, we dive into the evolutionary history of this subgenus.…
Starting to keep bees can be overwhelming. To help you get started we have two Oregon Master Beekeepers answer the 10 most common questions that beginners ask.
Michael O’Loughlin and his family farm a total of 200 acres in Yamhill County. The O'Loughlin Farms and garden is a private research station tracking onsite precipitation, testing slug biocontrol, and studying beetle predation and Northwestern garter and ringneck populations. Michael has been a Master Gardener since 2014 and Oregon Bee Atlas since …
With people either reving up to start or spruce up their pollinator garden, we sat down with a local nursery owner about some of the plants he most recommends for bloom across the year.
This week we hear how Soil and Water Conservation Districts are working to establish cost-effective and pollinator habitat on County roadsides.
Honey bees and native social bees are important crop pollinators and key parts of healthy native plant ecology. However, it’s very difficult to examine how these groups of bees interact in the floral landscape. In this episode, we discuss competition between bumble bees and honey bees in an landscape where they are both native, the UK, to uncover w…
Japanese beetle is a devastating exotic pest. Eradication efforts are underway across the US, including in Oregon. We hear about what is involved with eradication and how it can be done in a way that minimizes impacts to pollinators.
Managed solitary bees have been a part of crop pollination in the Western US for decades, particularly in alfalfa seed production. But over the last decade, the use of these bees has expanded. We look at the recent expansion and where it might lead in this episode.
Renting a honey bee colony for pollination seems simple enough, but frequently colonies are contracted months before pollination and a lot can go wrong from the time a contract is inked to when bees are delivered. In this episode we take a deep dive into the fascinating world of beekeepers, growers and pollination brokers.…
Gardens are increasingly appearing in schools. In this episode we learn about strategies to use these gardens to introduce pollinators into school curriculum.
There is an almost inexhaustible amount of options for pollinator gardens. But this can not only be a cause for invigoration, but also confusion. This episode will set you straight on how to take your pollinator garden to the next level.
Carolyn Breece and Ellen Topitzhofer support the field research of the OSU Honey Bee Lab. Together they manage the lab’s 80 research and educational colonies, preparing them for experiments, and collecting data. They also teach classes and workshops to community beekeepers, OSU undergraduates, and Oregon Master Beekeeper participants.…
There have been two exciting developments with Oregon Flora. The first is vol 2 of the flora, which includes an amazing section on Oregon pollinators. The second is there new website, which allows you to do amazing searches for Oregon plant communities.
Honey bee queens are durable insects, but new research shows that the sperm they store can become quickly degraded by temperature extremes.
Pan traps are one of the key methods for surveying for native bees. They are cheap and easy to use, and they aren’t subject to the collector bias of studies that rely on netting. This week we hear about the limitations associated with using pan traps.
Washington contended with two invasive insects in 2020. The first is well-known, Asian Giant Hornet, but the second less so, the common eastern bumble bee. We caught up with the Washington Department of Agriculture for an update on both insects.
It was hard to keep track of developments in bee health in 2020 because so much else was going on. In this episode we catch-you-up with a guest who wrote a post per day for since January showcasing what was new in bee health.
The Washington State Legislature just received a set of ground-breaking recommendations on pollinator health from the state’s Pollinator Health Task Force. In this episode we hear about what is being recommended and the next steps towards addressing those recommendations.
Stem nesting bees like mason bees are particularly amenable to being introduced to distant lands. In this episode we hear about research looking into the impact of these introductions on native bee populations.
Devastating wildfires ravaged Western states this summer. In this episode we find out what is known about the effect of forest fires on bees, how bees respond to the land ravaged by fire and how you can help bees while also protecting your property from future fires.
US beekeepers have been struggling to manage varroa mites for over 30 years. Our guest discusses why a solution to varroa has been so elusive and what it would take to finally turn the corner with varroa over the next decade.
In this episode we learn about an initiative in Texas that engages thousands of families in education around pollinators, headed by the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC) and Prairie View A&M University.
We have a very dim picture of the flowers bees collect pollen from. In this episode we hear about how lab techniques can be combined with field records of plant occurrences to show that bees may be using a lot more sources of pollen than we once thought.
The highest period of honey bee colony mortality is during the winter. But there are a number of tricks to ensure high colony survival. In this episode we visit a Canadian bee yard to learn about what they do.
Identifying bees is notoriously difficult and often is an obstacle to beginners interested in contributing to native bee surveys. In this episode we learn about a new initiative to identify bees with machine learning.
We have all heard about Asian Giant Hornet, but what are some of the other invasive pests that threaten pollinators? We hear about species of concern in Oregon as well as measures taken to prevent their introduction.
Pollinator Partnership’s Bee Friendly Farming programs encourages and rewards growers for taking steps to improve pollinator health on farms. We hear about some new features of the program and how people can get involved.
Native bees have secret and mysterious lives. Beyond their visits to flowers, they spend most of their lives beyond our experience. This week we hear from a sound artist whose work places us deep in the lives of our native bees.
The OSU Pollinator Health Program and Oregon Bee Project have worked together to develop a first of a kind Extension certificate program, the Master Melittologist program. The program is designed for people passionate about native bees and who want to embark on the long term survey of these bees in the state.…
Growers and applicators learn about pollinator health from a wide range of sources. In this episode we hear about an initiative by a coalition led by industry groups to reduce pesticide exposure to pollinators.
There is some great information being collected about Oregon bees by non-experts use phone apps like iNaturalist. In this episode we hear about how to produce a solid record and some of the top 10 bees people are finding.
Do you ever wonder how good the area around you is for pollinators? This week we learn about a new tool that allows you to assess your landscape for flower resources, bee nesting habitat and aggregate pesticide use.
How do you figure out what bees are in a state, both in the present and historically. You build a checklist! In this episode we learn about how checklists are made from a recent effort in Pennsylvania.
There are a growing number of people interested in native bees, but not many regional organizations you can belong to. Today we hear about an example of building such organizations in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
The common European honey bee is not the only species of honey bee. The biodiversity of the species Apis is rich in SE Asia. In this episode we get to know each of the species in detail.
Bee gardens involve matching plants that bloom at different times, to bees that emerge at different times. And not all bee species go to all flowers. In this episode we hear about how all these factors come together in Portland gardens.
Social wasps are in the news these days. They are often confused with bees. This week we take a deep dive into the world of our most fascinating social wasps, the paper wasps.
Shrubs and trees are key to any landscape designed for pollinators. This episode we tap OSU’s shrub and tree expert to list the top picks for spring, summer and winter and to learn how to care for them.
Creating pollinator habitat on farms is not as simple as it sounds. To be successful the habitat has to integrate into the cropping system and have low establishment and maintenance costs. In this episode we hear about efforts to strike this balance in Oregon vineyards.
It’s been over 10 years since Colony Collapse Disorder beset the beekeeping industry. We catch up with an author who looks back at the advances made over this period with a sense of Beeoptimism.
We’ve all heard that mason bees are amazing backyard pollinators, but did you know you can make ground-making discoveries about these bee’s biology in your own backyard. This week we talk with a Master Gardener who has turned mason bees into a scientific and public outreach pursuit.
How are wild bees doing? On one hand we hear that they are in trouble and on the other we hear that surveying efforts are too small to detect differences. In this episode we explore issues associated with native bee survey with one of the world's leading native bee taxonomists.