To schedule an author event, please email contact@PollinatorsNativePlants.com
To schedule an author event, please email contact@PollinatorsNativePlants.com
Creating and Managing Landscapes for Native Bees NEW
When creating and managing thriving habitats for native bees, many factors such as seasonal phenology, nesting strategies, and flower preferences must be considered—and with approximately 3,600 species in North America (north of Mexico), there are many unique aspects to keep in mind when managing successful landscapes for bees.
Join Heather as she explores the nesting habitats, life cycles, pollen collection, brood rearing, and general characteristics of some of the most common native bees in eastern North America, while highlighting the pollination of native plants and the mutualism between native plants and native bees. Learn about pollen specialists, the presentation of floral resources, and how the physical characteristics of bees can influence their effectiveness as pollinators. Heather will also discuss ways to manage landscapes to enhance bee diversity, plant selection considerations, and ultimately how to think like a bee!
Bumble Bee Banquet NEW
Bumble bees (Bombus) are by far the most charismatic and recognizable native bees. To help bumble bees thrive, we must understand their life cycle, nesting behaviors, and nutritional needs. Heather will illustrate the bumble bee life cycle through the growing season, the importance of selecting the right native (woody and herbaceous) plants to meet the nutritional needs of the queens, workers, males, and gynes, bumble bee habitat enhancement, and factors impacting bumble bee populations.
Specialist Bees NEW
The monarch butterfly is probably the most famous insect specialist (the caterpillars feed only on milkweed), but did you know that many native bees are also specialists? Female native bee specialists or oligoleges, collect pollen from a narrow range of native plants; this could mean just one plant genus or species, or many genera that belong to one plant family. Heather will highlight many of these native plant-bee specializations as well as the overlapping habitat requirements of the bees and plants. The presentation will also include the threats to specialists such as habitat loss and climate change.
Restoring Ecosystem Functionality and Biodiversity in a Changing Climate NEW
A large portion of the natural areas, parks, and open space in the Upper Midwest and Northeast is forested. Prior to Euro-American settlement, highly functional oak and/or pine grassland systems dominated. These landscapes have since been radically altered and, with the climate warming, what does the future have in store for these landscapes? The presentation will look into the past to understand grassland systems at the time of Euro-American settlement, and discuss how Native Americans managed and influenced the composition of these grassland systems with the regular use of fire. Pivoting to look into the future using projected climate modeling, Heather will address the ecological conditions today, focusing on oak ecosystems and grasslands, then paint a picture of what a functional, biodiverse, and resilient landscape may look like in the future, and what actions are needed to achieve these outcomes.
Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects NEW
Native bees and predatory wasps share the same lineage and also share many behaviors and habitat requirements. Predatory wasps feed their offspring insects (and spiders) and bees diverged from this carnivorous diet to feed their offspring plant-based food (pollen and nectar). Flower-rich landscapes provide critical habitat for both adult bees and wasps because they each consume flower nectar; in addition, wasps need diverse, flower-rich landscapes to hunt for their prey. Heather will highlight many amazing natural history and biology facts about native wasps illustrating their nesting habitat, prey specificity, and the ecosystems services they provide—pest insect population control and pollination.
Asters and Goldenrods: Autumn’s Pollinator Banquet
Asters are critical late summer and fall forage for native bees including many pollen-collecting specialists. Heather will explore the nutritional components of the nectar and pollen of asters and their fall-blooming cousins the goldenrods, and demonstrate the importance of these two groups of plants for native bees as well as migratory pollinating insects such as butterflies.
What's the Buzz About Native Bees
This presentation explores the nesting habitat, life cycle, pollen collection, brood rearing, and general characteristics of common genera of native bees occurring in the Midwestern, Eastern United States, and southern Canada. The pollination of native plants and the mutualism between native plants and native bees is also highlighted. Heather also discusses the presentation of floral resources and how the physical characteristics of bees can influence the bees' effectiveness as pollinators.
The Pollination of Native Plants
This presentation is a fascinating journey showcasing the development of different flower types and the presentation of floral resources to pollinators. Exploring the types of insect pollinators, their foraging behavior, and the floral features that attract pollinators, Heather will provide many specific examples of how native plants are pollinated and what pollinator is most effective and why.
Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants
Most insects have a positive impact in our landscapes. Native plants can be selected to attract specific bees and beneficial insects including predatory and parasitic wasps, beetles, flies, true bugs, and lacewings. Learn about the predator-prey relationships of these flower-visiting beneficial insects and how they help keep problem insect populations in balance. The life cycles, diversity, and nesting habitat of native bees will also be covered along with examples of native plants for different site conditions.
The Corner Lot - Chronicles of a Small Scale Neighborhood Restoration (Minnesota and Wisconsin audiences)
In urban environments, natural landscapes that were once biodiverse and contiguous have been transformed to small and often highly degraded fragments. What potential do these sites hold for ecological restoration, pollinator habitat, and public demonstration sites? How does one go about restoring a site such as this? Step one is developing a plan that includes goals, objectives, and methods. Heather will address these steps and highlight some of the challenges, opportunities, and amazing outcomes that have unfolded in her neighborhood corner lot restoration. She will also discuss pollinator habitat enhancement and management considerations, and celebrate the diverse pollinator populations that now thrive in the corner lot.
Attracting Bees and Beneficial Insects to your Fruit and Vegetable Garden
Learn about the importance of insect pollination and the bees responsible for pollinating the fruits and vegetables we grow in both home and commercial landscapes. Heather will discuss in detail the genera of bees responsible for the majority of the pollination and the additional forage (flowering plants) one needs to provide to ensure that the 'flower buffet' is always open, even when the fruit or vegetable plants are not in flower. Also discussed are the beneficial insects that the native flowering plants will attract and how these insects can help reduce insect pest populations in your fruit or vegetable garden.
Habitat Matters: Lessons Learned From Enhancing Native Bee Habitat on Blueberry Farms
In this presentation you will learn about the current research project I am working on in Minnesota and Wisconsin blueberry farms. I discuss the project objectives and reasons for studying native bees on blueberry farms, the sampling methods, native bee candidates (for blueberry pollination services), the nesting habitat of the bees, and the native plant forage recommendations. The presentation also explores the habitat evaluation of the farms, and the considerations for what kind of forage could be provided for the native bee candidates pre, and post-blueberry bloom.
2023 SCHEDULED EVENTS
January 10, 2023
Rye Garden Club
January 12, 2023
West Metro Master Naturalists
January 24, 2023
Ottawa Horticultural Society
January 31, 2023
Dyck Arboretum of the Plains
February 1, 2023
Sag Moraine Native Plant Community
February 11, 2023
The Prairie Enthusiasts Conference
February 18, 2023
The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee of McHenry County, Natural Landscaping Seminar, Illinois
February 21, 2023
February 23, 2023
February 25, 2023
Master Gardeners of Isanti County Minnesota
March 7, 2023
Pollinator Friendly Alliance Pollinator Summit
March 11, 2023
The Thinking Spot Bookstore
March 21, 2023
Great Swamp Watershed Association
March 24, 2023
Shenandoah Valley Plant Symposium, Virginia
March 25, 2023
Northern Neck Master Gardener Conference, Virginia
April 6, 2023
Minnesota Native Plant Society
April 11, 2023
Canadian Wildlife Federation
April 19, 2023
Northbrook Public Library, IL
April 25, 2023
Golden Valley Garden Club
April 27, 2023
May 6, 2023
Minneapolis Community Ed
May 11, 2023
St. Paul Audubon
May 21, 2023
Minnesota Master Naturalist Conference
June 3, 2023
Prairie Restorations, Princeton
June 28, 2023
North American Prairie Conference
August 18, 2023
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum Symposium
September 10, 2023
UW Madison Arboretum Conference
September 30, 2023
Cornell Extension Master Gardeners, Suffolk County, NY
October 28, 2023
Indiana Native Plant Society Conference
December 7, 2023
Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, 2023 Turning a New Leaf Conference
March 9, 2024
Erie County Master Gardeners, Cornell Extension, NY
View Listing of Past Presentations