Bee City USA July/August 2018 E-News
Bee City USA-Garden City, Idaho, celebrated the installation of their new pollinator garden in May. Committee chair Judy Snow says, " Thanks to a grant from the Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation and other donations, we now have gorgeous interpretive signs as well as a huge variety of bees, and some butterflies, hummingbirds and beetles. Recently I watched a bumble bee stretching as he woke up in a flower! I always see people walking through and reading the signs. We also have a citizen science project set up."
Did You Know A Third Of Bee Species Are Pollen Specialists?
Squash bees by Nancy Adamson
Male squash bees awaiting female bees on female squash flower. Photo: Nancy Adamson

According to Paige Embry, " Specialists may be uber-specialists and use only one species of plant, or they may be moderately picky and go after a group of related plants. Some of the bees that appear to like only one plant may actually find pollen acceptable from a variety of related plants. If, however, only one of their acceptable plants is in bloom when they fly, they appear to specialize on just that one plant. I've known quite a few toddlers like these bees. Some toddlers want to eat nothing but pepperoni pizza but are fine with macaroni and cheese and possibly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (as long as they are the proper brands) ."
Pollen specialist bees are very particular about what they feed their babies. While many bees are named for their nest-building style like miner, digger, mason, leaf-cutter, carder and carpenter bees, in the case of some bees, they really are what they eat--Sunflower, Blueberry, Cactus, Mallow, Hibiscus, Squash, Orchid, Passion Flower, and Spring Beauty bee. This is why Bee City USA stresses planting a diversity of locally native plant species.

The Great Pollinator Project has a nice list of specialist bee plants and you can read about specialist bees on the Internet and in several books, but a good place to start is pages 183-186 of Our Native Bees by Paige Embry.

Other excellent resource books follow.

Attracting Native Pollinators , by the Xerces Society

How Did You Celebrate National Moth Week?
The 7th annual National Moth Week was July 21-29. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds tend to steal the show when it comes to pollinators, but moths are receiving growing recognition for their mostly nocturnal pollination services. According to NMW founder David Moskowitz, "Cumulatively we’ve had thousands and thousands of participants in all 50 states and 82 countries! We’ve also partnered with iNaturalist and there were thousands of moth photos and records posted. We also have a Flickr site for moth photos to be posted and it has over 90,000 at this point."

Want to support the moths in your neighborhood and have more time to relax? Then put away that rake! With fall on the way, remember that 94% of moth species overwinter in or under leaf litter. Those decomposing leaves do even more than add nutrients to and retain moisture in the soil, they provide just the right conditions for larval, pupal or adult moths (or in some cases moth eggs) to survive winter.

Mark your calendars now for 2019's National Moth Week in July (dates to be determined), and plan to hang up a white sheet with a light on it, and consider hosting an evening of "mothing," to temporarily capture and identify moths. Scheduling as close to the new moon as possible is best, so bright moonlight won't interfere. Prepare to be amazed!

When Charles Darwin received a pressed Madagascan Star Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale )with a 10" spur in 1862, he speculated that a pollinator with a 10" proboscis likely pollinated it. Finally,130 years later in 1992, the Xanthopan morganii praedicta sphinx moth was observed nectaring on the the long-throated orchid! Read more at Botany Thoughts :
Xerces Events Coming To Your Area
Xerces has at least one pollinator conservation presentation or workshop somewhere in the country nearly every week. Check their Events page for details. Here's an example,

August 7th, 2018, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Mower County Government Center
Join Xerces-NRCS Partner Biologist Karin Jokela, and BWSR Training Conservationist Lawrence Svien, as they address the basics of pollinator habitat planning and seed mix design. Participants will learn about the latest techniques for site prep (including some organic methods), seeding, and post-seeding management. There will also be a classroom-based​, in-depth module on seed mix design. We’ll apply the classroom learning during afternoon field visits to CP-42 sites in various stages of maturity. The afternoon portion of the session will be in the field so dress appropriately for the weather. Class size limited to 30. Target Audience: NRCS and Conservation District staff.
Click here  for more information and to register.

To receive regular Xerces Events announcements, sign up for Xerces's E-News on the Events page .
National Pollinator-Related Dates Coming Soon
Not only do established days/weeks/months help draw attention to their subject matter and often provide free resources, they also provide Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA affiliates with hooks for hosting educational events or promotional media.

National Honey Bee Day (3 rd Saturday in August) 
National Honey Month (September) 
National Bat Week (last week of October)
Small Grant Opportunity for Affiliates
Project Learning Tree: GreenWorks! Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a national environmental program for educators and their students in grades pre-K-12. GreenWorks! is the service-learning component of PLT that provides grants of up to $1,000 to PLT trained educators who assist students in the implementation of environmental improvement projects. Students help design projects to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment. These projects make a difference in young people's sense of responsibility toward their communities, and in their understanding of their relationship to the environment. The funds can be used by students to establish school gardens and outdoor classrooms, restore a natural habitat, etc. The application deadline is September 30, 2018. Visit the PLT website to learn more about the application process for GreenWorks! grants.

A Marriage Made in Pollinator Heaven
It's only been a month since the merger and Bee City USA is quickly realizing the benefits of joining forces with the many knowledgeable, talented Xerces staff based in 14 states around the country! Here are just a few affiliate reactions to the news.

This is such good news! The City of Greenwood became a Bee City USA last year. This not only was extremely well received by our local residents and City Council but also it has helped and sustained our smallest but important residents. I’ve learned so much from the knowledgeable and professional staff at Xerces so this is a marriage made in heaven. Because of our changes as a Bee City, we have already noticed an increase in pollinators, as well as fireflies and frogs. Build it and they will come. Thank you for being advocates for those that can’t help themselves.” (Ann Barklow, Greenwood, SC)

“Hooray! This new partnership combines the people-power of Bee City USA with the expert research and advocacy of the Xerces Society. What a match, and how great for the organizations, our communities, and the pollinators. Bravo!” (Bob Redmond, Seattle, WA)

"Bee City USA becoming a part of the Xerces Society is great news. Bee City USA's dedicated volunteers have done a remarkable job of building the program. However, becoming part of the largest pollinator conservation organization in the world will provide even more resources to help create the momentum that pollinator protection needs to become what we called in retail 'top of mind' awareness. As a Bee City USA, we reached out to Xerces in 2017 and they provided us with a speaker for a presentation about protecting pollinators from pesticides. These are the kind of resources, plus many more, that we can expect from Xerces." (Judy Snow, Garden City, ID)

"I can’t tell you how excited I am that you have joined forces with Xerces!  I have admired their work for many years, and I know how highly regarded they are for their conservation work. This must be an incredibly exciting development for you to see the program you have worked so hard to build as a volunteer be integrated into such a fantastic conservation organization. We’re excited too! I have always wanted to support Xerces more, and now we are an affiliate member in one of their new programs—how awesome is that?! I am looking forward to continued great things to come. Congratulations!" (Patrick Bohlen, University of Central Florida)
Our National Network of Cities & Campuses Is Growing!
Welcome to the most recent affiliates to join our network--Eugene, Oregon, and The University of Oregon (in Eugene)! Check the current Bee City and Bee Campus pages to see the most up-to-date lists. The best part of the network is that we teach and learn from one another how to promote pollinator conservation in our communities.
Bee City USA, An Initiative of the Xerces Society | 503-395-5367||