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December 6, 2018

Take a Break: Pausing for Pollinators

By: Jeremy Kranowitz

Maria Stahl works for The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. Many thanks to Maria and her co-works for adding to our pollinator count. Friday morning I took a break from my normal routine and counted bees and wasps. I’ve heard a lot about the decline of pollinators lately, so when my co-worker Jennifer sent out an email asking for volunteers for the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Pollinator Count, I jumped at the chance. 

I work for The Nature Conservancy, and our building is landscaped with native plantings.  Outside my window I can see monarda (bee balm), prairie dock, wild quinine, and rattlesnake master.  I’ve been excited by the multitudes of bumblebees that I’ve seen buzzing around the plants over the past month or so, but I never thought to try and count them. At least, not until today. 

With clipboard and KIB pollinator identification sheet in hand, I joined my co-workers Jennifer, Melissa, and Laura outside this morning for the count. We each chose a different 11” x 11” spot to survey for four minutes each. Jennifer and I ended up doing a couple of spots to see what else we could find in other places.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy this morning, which I’ve heard can keep bees away.

Although dragonflies aren’t pollinators (they’re carnivores), their presence indicates other pollinating insects.

In all, our group saw a total of 12 bumblebees, 2 honeybees, 3 hoverflies, 5 paper wasps, and this really cool dragonfly (Look at those eyes!).  But now that I know how it’s done, I’m sure I’ll be back outside on a sunnier day for another pollinator count! Today is the last day for KIB’s Pollinator Count Week at www.kibi.org/kibees! Use the hashtag #KIBees to take your pollinator pictures on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Categories: Habitat Restoration