What are roadsides good for except signs? Helping butterflies and bees.

Image of black-eyed susans along side a road.

(Concord Monitor) New Hampshire has 5,000 miles of roads. Rights of way along all that mileage totals tens of thousands of acres, which isn’t used for much except road signs. But New Hampshire Fish and Game has received a $50,000 grant from the New England Forests and Rivers Fund, boosted by $50,000 in matching state funds and grants, in hopes of using roadsides and center areas to grow plants that support butterflies, bees and other pollen-eating insects.

Unpopular opinion: saving honey bees does very little to save the bees

Image of garden path.

(Garden Ecology Lab, Oregon State University) “I am not suggesting that you extinguish honey bees from your garden. What I am asking, instead, is that you take the time to learn about and to notice some of the other 80+ species of bee that you might find in your garden… The first step to saving something you love is to be able to recognize it and to call it by name.”

Rusty patched bumble bee discovered in Minnesota bluffland area

Image of rusty patched bumble bee on flower.

(StarTribune) The federally endangered bumble bee — a single male of the species — has been discovered at the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area in Inver Grove Heights, a positive sign for ecologists who have worked on restoring the area. Just one bee represents approximately 0.2 percent of the species’ known world population. Minnesota hosts the largest population of the bee in the world, with about 35 percent of the species buzzing about in the Twin Cities metro area.

Saving heather will help to save our wild bees

Image of bumble bee on flower.

(Phys.org/Royal Holloway, University of London) A new study published today has discovered that a natural nectar chemical in Calluna heather called callunene can act as a medicine to protect bumblebees from a harmful parasite. The parasite, Crithidia bombi, is common among wild bumble bees and can be transmitted between bumble bees on flowers or within the nest.