We love our pollinators.
Bees, butterflies, moths, bats, birds, beetles, flies, ants and wasps assist almost all flowing plants in their reproduction, helping them to develop the seeds, foliage, nuts, and fruits that make up the bulk of our diets (https://www.fws.gov/Pollinators/pdfs/ES_Bulletin_07-2006_46&47.pdf).
Alarmingly, many of our pollinator populations are declining, including our native bees such as the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis).
Bumble bees, mason bees and other native bee species are particularly important because they start pollinating earlier in the spring than honey bees and they stay active when the weather is too cool and cloudy for honey bees. We need to make sure we’re providing the habitat and resources they need to support resilient populations.
Our campus is Certified Salmon Safe and full of native flowering plants which is ideal for our native pollinator friends. We want to ensure our campus is a stronghold for our native pollinators and so this summer we’re launching an initiative to track the bee populations on our campus over time. We’ll be using the protocols established in the Maritime Northwest Citizen Science Monitoring Guide for Native Bees and Butterflies. We’ve established permanent monitoring transects on campus and plan to visit them weekly during the spring and summer (when bees are most active) on an annual basis. The data will be shared with all interested students, faculty and staff as well as The Xerces Society.
Let Jodie Galvan, Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices at Cascadia College, or Cassie Lubenow, Sustainability Coordinator for UW Bothell, know if you’d like to participate in the monitoring or receive the data. Thank you for supporting our beloved bees!