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 sub-region in 2009. We’d been planning the counts on...

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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)

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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Bloomin' flowers at the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

In Bloom Wildflower Festival, Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

In Bloom Wildflower Festival, Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by NCC)

Here in the BC Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, one of our favourite conservation projects is the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve. It's a favourite because there is so much that goes on there — university research, Conservation...

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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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Moths and butterflies: What we're doing to help these little-known pollinators

Sphinx moth (Photo © Manitoba Museum)

Sphinx moths overwinter as pupa underground. (Photo © Manitoba Museum)

Bees are well known for their ability to pollinate flowers but there are other pollinators out there, including moths and butterflies. Moths pollinate flowers both during the day and at night. This summer, Nature Conservancy (NCC) staff will be...

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Pollinator edge effects on Manitoba's grasslands

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

A small andrenid bee sheltering in a wild strawberry flower (Photo by Marika Olynyk)

Animal pollination is a key ecological process, ensuring the reproduction and genetic diversity of most flowering plants, and providing food for pollinators. In Manitoba, insects are the most important pollinators. Our short summers are busy as...

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It's the great pumpkin pollinator! Meet the squash bee

Female squash bee on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

Female squash bee covered in pollen on a male pumpkin flower (Photo by Margaret Chan)

At my house, Halloween is a frenzy of pumpkins — those lovely globes that throb with the vitality of summer. We carve them into frightening orange-skinned, ghoulish-grinned beasts set aglow by the light of beeswax candles. I fell in love...

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Where have all the pollinators gone?

Research site (Photo by Diana Robson)

Cold, cloudy weather at the preserves in September meant that most of the pollinators just stayed home. (Photo by Diana Robson)

After a summer filled with ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies, I was ready for a pest-free pollinator survey at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties near Riding Mountain National Park this September. Autumn field work can be quite...

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Pollinators (and people predators) galore

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Bee on Hedysarum (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

After the relative calm of my June field work on Nature Conservancy of Canada land near Riding Mountain National Park, I was kept very busy observing insects in July and August. In total I saw approximately 64 insect species making over 1,200...

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