Bee the Power for Our Food
Pollinators are very important to The Ohio State University at Mansfield campus. That’s why on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, a “Bee the Power of our Food: Pollinators Extravaganza” will be held from 4-6 p.m. at the ‘Monarch Right-of-Way’ Pollinator Demonstration Plots in front of Ovalwood Hall, 1760 University Drive, Mansfield, OH.
“We are seeing a serious decline in our pollinator populations, so getting habitat on the ground is really important right now,” explains Marne Titchenell, Wildlife Program Specialist at The Ohio State University Extension. “One way to increase habitat for pollinators is to plant favorable species for them under the right-of-way. We’ve developed a great partnership with FirstEnergy, who is interested in exploring alternative management options in that particular area.”
The plots are planted with different varieties of native grasses and flowers. The goal is to create a demonstration area to show landowners who have utility rights-of-way on their property some alternative wildlife habits.
The event will include how the new research works to create pollinator habitat along the utility right-of-ways. Wildlife and forestry experts will be discussing the critical need for pollinator habitat. An experienced beekeeper will also be explaining the joys of beekeeping.
“Our plots are still in their infant years, so we hope in the future they will attract many species of butterflies, including the monarch butterfly, bees, and other beneficial pollinating insects,” Titchenell said. “So far, we’ve already observed species of butterflies and bees at our plots.”
Participants will also have a chance to see monarch butterflies in multiple life stages and learn to ID different species of native bees. A walking tour will start at 4:30 p.m. beginning at the Demonstration Plot to the Ecolab’s microfarm, where participants will learn about the importance of pollinators to our food supply.
“The microfarm is full of additional plants that are producing pollen. When the bees visit, pollination occurs benefiting crop production,” Titchenell said.