An energetic and engaged audience filled the house on February 8th at the beautiful Silverwood Great Hall for a top-notch assembly ranging from scientists to park rangers. 300 land managers, naturalists and policymakers signed up to JOIN THE HIVE uniting efforts to protect pollinators.
The annual popular summit hosted by Pollinator Friendly Alliance featured fascinating talks from practical boots on the ground to the science behind the research including:
•Xerces Society on pollinator biology and herbicide-free habitat
•Dr. Runquist of the Minnesota Zoo on pesticide drift effects on butterflies
• John Moriarty of Three Rivers Park District on long term enhancements.
•Dr. Vera Krischik & Dr. Elaine Evans, Univ of Minn. pesticides & native bees.
• Stephen Thomforde, Ecologist, on haying & roadsides. . .and much more.
The sum of the day’s expertise told us there is a world of beautifully diverse, and specialized pollinators at risk. Pollinators form the base of the food chain and are critical to our overall ecosystem health, forests, wetlands and prairies with 3600 species of native bees in the US, and 400+ in Minnesota. Not only are pollinators like the Monarch and Rusty Patch in trouble, others are too, like the humble little sweat bee who does a lion’s share of wild pollination.
Land managers from city, county, state agencies and private industry were there to learn how to help. Among 30 innovative ways include: Implement best practices and Integrated pest management plans (IPM); Install pesticide-free habitat; Carefully planned haying and species management; Introduce animals to the land and increase diversity; Convert under-utilized areas like roadsides, grass turf and old crop land to flowering native prairies or bee lawns; Create good policy and educate staff...and much more.
After a day of classes, 300 land managers are armed with innovations and environmentally sound land stewardship ideas to help protect pollinators, aquatics, birds and make a healthier world for everyone. Summit-goers are already asking for more. Stay tuned for Summit 2019! Thanks to the POLLINATOR CHAMPION SPONSORS...