Canada's bats in crisis

Little brown myotis (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) (Photo by Brock Fenton)

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a cloud of little brown myotis bats flying in broad daylight at the coldest time of the year in January. There was something vaguely disturbing and peculiar about seeing them fluttering around against a...

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Bees and wasps a buzzin'

Bees have a good reason to be wary of crab spiders. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

Bees have a good reason to be wary of crab spiders. (Photo by Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson)

Through social media, I learned about the humble bumblebee’s need for drinking water. A need, no doubt, that has arisen as a result of prolonged droughts, loss of wetland habitats and loss of biodiversity. I was asked to incorporate a bee...

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Pollinating the prairies

A parasitic fly pollinating a hairy golden aster (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

It was with some sadness that I finished my last field work of the season at Yellow Quill Prairie. It will be many long, cold months before I get to go out again. However, I was eager to get back to the office to crunch some numbers and see how...

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Monarch butterfly habitat selection

Monarch butterfly (Photo by A. Dabydeen)

The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognized and loved insects in the world. It is known, in part, for its phenomenal migration from its Canadian breeding grounds to overwintering sites in the mountains of Mexico. Unfortunately, the...

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Where are the monarchs?

Monarch butterfly (Photo by André Sarrazin)

Even as we delve deeper into the mysteries of the monarch butterfly’s migration, we still know very little about its breeding habits in the northern part of its range. To get to the bottom of the mystery, a group of experts has gotten...

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Getting down at the Yellow Quill Prairie

The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve on a sunny day (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Last week I started my field season by getting down on my hands and knees to collect plants and pollinators at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve south of Brandon, which is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. While that may not...

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Wild bees in the grasslands

A summer storm gathers over NCC’s Fort Ellice prairie (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

In 2015, I had the good fortune to spend a second summer conducting pollination research on beautiful grasslands in western Manitoba. As described in my previous post, I have been investigating landscape effects on pollination service in...

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Fescue findings

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

A bumblebee on field locoweed. (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

As I near the end of my two years of pollinator research in the fescue prairie, I’ve been wondering what it all means. In particular I’ve been thinking about how the pollinator communities in fescue prairies are different than in the...

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Pollination deception: Manitoba’s lady’s slipper orchids

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

In Manitoba we have several species of lady’s slipper orchids, but the two I am most interested in, and have researched, are the yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) and the provincially endangered small white lady’s...

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Beetles: Nature's mess and soil pollinators

Soldier beetle (Photo © Stephen Luk)

Soldier beetle (Photo © Stephen Luk)

Pollinators are extremely important. Not only are they responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, but they are vital in creating and maintaining the habitats and ecosystems on which many animals rely for food and...

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