Topics in Pollination

Grow Magazine, which we’ve referenced on this site before, just published a great new article on pollinator research.  The article highlights distinct approaches by three UW researchers, one of whom—Hannah Gaines, from the Entomology department—looks at the importance of landscape management and the role of native bees in cranberry.  Other work being done includes taking a genetic survey of the microbial community found in a beehive using new DNA sequencing tools, and raising new questions in the important discussion of how to better tease out and effectively assess the human impact on pollinators.  Take the time to read it for yourself!

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, at UW-Madison, publishes Grow Magazine three times a year, highlighting agricultural research in Wisconsin.  Fill out a form for a free subscription to Grow Magazine:

Cranberry Pollination Research at the University of Wisconsin

In the spring and summer of 2012, Hannah Gaines, a PhD student in the Entomology Department at the University of Wisconsin, did experiments in the field and in the greenhouse to better understand what non-bee factors may be influencing cranberry pollination.

Hannah's cages

Monitoring one of my pollination treatment cages in the field.

Hannah's greenhouse experiment

Hand pollinating cranberry plants in the greenhouse.

Hannah's greenhouse experiment

Hand pollinating cranberry plants in the greenhouse.

To learn more about her work on native pollinators, see this article.

UW-Entomology and Extension’s Phil Pellitteri discusses pollinators on the Wisconsin Gardener

Phil Pellitteri runs the Insect Diagnostic Lab in the Entomology Department at UW-Madison. Last Spring, Phil met with Shelley Ryan of The Wisconsin Gardener to discuss pollinator issues and how to encourage native solitary bees, including an egg-laying box for mason bees. Here is the link to the video.

Also, are you mystified or intrigued about an insect that you’ve found at your home or marsh? Check out Phil’s online catalog of insect photos. Another great resource is

–Liz Bosak

Are you interested in learning about pollinators and the services that they provide?

This week’s Entomology seminar, on Friday April 20, will be given by Dr. Eric Lonsdorf, of the Chicago Botanic Garden, and is entitled “Modeling Pollination Services Across Agricultural Services.” For more information, click here.

Also, next week, the Entomology Department will be hosting another pollinator seminar by Dr. Sai Suryanarayanan of UW-Madison’s Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, entitled “Finding Sustainable Solutions to Honey Bee and Pollinator Health.”

–Liz Bosak