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Re: Fw: Re: [beemonitoring] Bee Lawn Mix Thought

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Charles: We d all like to have this forum fit our personal interests because we all think our interests are pivotal to protecting pollinators.
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 6, 2009
      Dear Charles:

      We'd all like to have this forum fit our personal interests because we all think our interests are pivotal to protecting pollinators.  Consequently, Dr. Droege is entitled to express his concerns on bees in lawn floras.  Surely, this doesn't subtract from the time or effort you could put into sending messages to us expanding on your own concerns.  

      "Stressed islands" are important because they can become centers of evolution and/or refugia.  That's why we are celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin this year.  As a case in point, ten years ago we had a warm winter in St. Louis and my Christmas roses (Helleborus niger) bloomed in November.  I collected some chilled bees in the nectar cups of the flower and sent them to Dr. Michener.  The blue, hairy Lasioglossum turned out to be one of the least commonly collected species in North America and here it was in a wooded, suburban backyard outside a small, midwestern city.  If you don't believe me please write Dr. Michener (who made the identification).  

      Who said we were neutral on prairie surveys of pollinators?  Please check out my past papers on the pollination of prairie populations of Oxalis violacea and Schrankia nuttallii (both in Plant Systematics & Evolution).  I'll make everyone's life easier and attach a not quite up-to-date list of my publications.  If we weren't serious about prairie surveys why did the Bernhardt/Meier lab just submit a $60,000 proposal to the Missouri Department of Conservation on the pollination of Asclepias meadii?  By the way, in my professional opinion, mere surveys are pretty worthless unless you co-reference the identified insect with the pollen they carry.  Recording the flower species on which it is captured is insufficient.  As most bees are polylectic, pollen load analyses give you critical information about the specimen's foraging bout before you interrupted it with your net and killing jar.  Don't worry, the techniques and protocols are in my publications.

      Sincerely, Peter Bernhardt 

      On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 10:07 PM, Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...> wrote:

      --- On Thu, 2/5/09, Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...> wrote:
      From: Charles Guevara <icecilliate123@...>
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Bee Lawn Mix Thought
      To: "Sam Droege" <sdroege@...>
      Date: Thursday, February 5, 2009, 3:39 AM

         Hi Sam, in keeping with an 'overall context', we should continue to talk about(raise awareness of), we should continue to think/share ideas (collective synergistic brainstorming) , we should continue to bolster BIO-CORIDORS concept regarding pollinators and their assemblage communities.
         Lawn-Mix totally distracts from sustainable regional habitats, 'key-stone' organisms, 'indicator-organisms', chemical applications totally are 'tone-deaf', and perhaps harmful to need for susstaining(even as we limply fund understanding of regional biomes) endemic pollinator assemblages.
         Just as this great 'list-serve/forum of highly educated academic biologists stand 'deafeningly neutral' on :'Prarie surveys of pollinators prior to literally FARMING/HARVESTING praire beleaugered natural habitats, for cellulosic crop harvest.',...
      this deeply knowledgible forum should first 'enhance the sustainable-big picture context' ( biocoridors rather than ridiculously small and stressed islands of natural space...suplemented with a chemical:'Bee Lawn Mix'.).
         charlie guevara, NJ,US

      --- On Wed, 2/4/09, Sam Droege <sdroege@...> wrote:
      From: Sam Droege <sdroege@...>
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Bee Lawn Mix Thought
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 6:46 PM


      From what I have seen of the urban pollination/pollinator world, the concentration of research, advice, and management has focused on flowering plants, both in remnant parkland and in garden plots.  All good.  Bees are found in surprising places and easily surpass butterflies in abundance and kinds.  But.  Places that are gardenable and convertible are limited, particularly compared to paved areas and lawns.   Paved areas are of limited use for pollinators, of course, but lawns, while ignored by the average bee urbanite, are not.   We have sampled lawns on the National Mall and elsewhere and found bees in abundance.  What are they doing there?  I think it has a lot to do with  prostrate flowers such as clover, purslane, and spurge plus the quick bloomers such as dandelions and plantains.  

      What if someone would develop a bee lawn seed mix?  

      Wouldn't that potentially have a higher impact on the number and kinds of bees in urban areas than the high effort, high cost, high maintenance (but, yes, very pretty) pollinator garden?  Particularly if most people don't want to go to the effort?

      What if highway departments seeded with a bee roadside mix that didn't require them to NOT mow or to treat any different than they do now....wouldn't that be an even greater impact than the few places where people tolerate weedy looking native plant plots and can afford the planting and upkeep?


      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705


      Watching hands transplanting,
      Turning and tamping,
      Lifting the young plants with two fingers,
      Sifting in a palm-full of fresh loam,--
      One swift movement,--
      Then plumping in the bunched roots,
      A single twist of the thumbs, a tamping and turning,
      All in one,
      Quick on the wooden bench,
      A shaking down, while the stem stays straight,
      Once, twice, and a faint third thump,--
      Into the flat-box it goes,
      Ready for the long days under the sloped glass:

      The sun warming the fine loam,
      The young horns winding and unwinding,
      Creaking their thin spines,
      The underleaves, the smallest buds
      Breaking into nakedness,
      The blossoms extending
      Out into the sweet air,
      The whole flower extending outward,
      Stretching and reaching.

          - Theodore Roethke
      P Please don't print this e-mail unless really needed.

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