Piedmont Research Station to Host Pollinator Field Day Sept. 8

Honeybee photo. Source: NC Extension Service, www.ces.ncsu.edu
Honeybee photo. Source: NC Extension Service, www.ces.ncsu.edu

The Piedmont Research Station will host Pollinator Field Day on Saturday, September 8, 2018, 1-5pm.

Said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler:

“Because pollinators play such a vital role in crop production, it is important to protect and promote their health. This field day is designed to help farmers, beekeepers, urban planners, landscapers and landscape architects, master gardeners, greenhouse growers and others learn more about these valued ag “workers” and how to create habitat for them.”

Attendees will learn about:

  • pollinator habitat for farms
  • pollinators along roadsides
  • constructed pollinator meadows
  • plants that make for good pollinator habitat
  • native bees
  • butterflies and beneficial insects
  • honeybees and beekeeping
  • pesticide application techniques to protect pollinators
  • how to use available technology to map honeybee and specialty crop locations

The Piedmont Research Station is located at 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury, North Carolina (Rowan County).

This Pollinator Field Day event is free. To register, go to this EventBrite page. Pesticide credits are available for attending this event.

The Piedmont Research Station is one of several research stations overseen by the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). For more information, visit www.ncagr.gov/research/prs.htm.


Source: Kelly Snider, Piedmont Research Station

What Are Pollinators?

Pollinators are living things — not just insects — that visit flowers and gather pollen and/or move pollen (even inadvertently) from one plant to another. Pollination is what allows flowers to be fertilized so that a plant, bush, or tree may reproduce (make seeds, sometimes inside an edible pod/fruit).

When you hear pollinators, you likely think of bees. They are the pollinators that move among the garden, yard, field, and woods picking up pollen to take back to their hives — where some bees produce honey. In the process of gathering pollen, bees spread it from flower-to-flower and allow the flowers to be fertilized and eventually produce garden vegetables/fruits, orchard fruits, vine fruits, ribes, legumes, nuts, and other seeds.

Bees are not the only pollinators, though. You may be surprised to learn that many other living things — even disliked ones — assist with pollination and the continuation of plant reproduction.  In addition to bees, butterflies and moths (and their offspring/caterpillars)  are pollinators. Even flies, wasps, mosquitoes (disliked), and miscellaneous crawling bugs help to pollinate our world.

Birds, too, can be pollinators. As NC’s beautiful ruby-throated hummingbirds make their rounds sipping from flowers, they spread pollen around.

In some areas, tree fruits are pollinated by bats and the insects that they chase/eat. If you’ve ever eaten a banana, a bat may be partly responsible for the existence of your snack.

To find out more about pollinators, including native North Carolina pollinators, see this NCDA&CS pollinators/protection overview (PDF).

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