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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Bees: Nature's busy farmers

Bee balm (Photo by NCC)

Bee balm (Photo by NCC)

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 that many animals rely on for food and shelter. Bees...

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Chasing dragonflies and butterflies with Bob Bowles

Bob Bowles, Carden Alvar, ON (Photo by NCC).

Bob Bowles in the Carden Alvar, ON. Look closely and you'll see a dragonfly on his shoulder – they really do flock to him! (Photo by NCC).

I met Bob Bowles fairly early in my career at the Nature Conservancy of Canada when I was tasked to run the Carden Alvar butterfly and dragonfly counts in the Georgian Bay–Huronia subregion in 2009. We’d been planning the counts on the...

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A fine balance: An update on the Poweshiek skipperling

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling. (Photo by NCC)

NCC’s Tall Grass Prairie Natural Area protects Canada’s only population of endangered Poweshiek skipperling (Photo by NCC).

It may be a small and unassuming species, but for a few years now scientists in both Manitoba and the U.S. have been playing close attention to the Poweshiek skipperling. The small, brownish butterfly — no larger than a toonie — was...

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What’s the buzz on bees at the Cowichan Preserve?

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve flowers, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

You’ve probably seen it in the news: bees are in trouble. There has been a lot of press about managed honeybees that have been introduced to North America for pollination and honey. Unfortunately, we also know that many wild bees are also...

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