Oregon has around 500 species of native bees and I was curious to find out which ones were flying about my farm. So I anxiously awaited a report from Sarah Kincaid’s first trapping session. Sarah is spearheading the Oregon Bee Project which is a cooperative effort between the Oregon Department of Agriculture and other collaborators. Its aim is to protect Oregon pollinators that are vital to the state’s production of specialty crops.
Here is a list of what was found in the first trapping session: Continue reading “Oregon Native Bees Found on Farm”
Simply put, intraguild predation is the killing and eating of potential competitors. It is a combination of predation and competition because both species involved rely on the same prey resources and therefore benefit from preying upon one another.
In the video below you can see an Omus audouini dragging off an Anisodactylus binotatus. It is clearly a case of predation and not scavenging as the A. binotatus is alive and trying to get away. Both beetles were discovered under one of my snake study boards along the riparian border on the north side of my tall fescue field. The O. audouini is commonly called Audouin’s Night-stalking Tiger Beetle and he’s a fierce predator.
Continue reading “Intraguild Predation in Oregon Ground Beetles”
Four years ago I read about the benefits of building a beetle bank as part of my Master Gardener training. While they began in Great Britain, Gwendolyn Ellen and her colleagues at Oregon State University have been studying their effectiveness on organic farms here in the Willamette Valley for years. As an ag biodiversity proponent, anything I can do on my farm to encourage native pest predators naturally peaks my interest. And so I spent the last few years reading all the research papers I could find on beetle banks and the predaceous beetles that they get their name from.
Beetle banks are raised strips of land installed in the middle of crops that are planted with native bunch grasses and sometimes forbes, which provide Continue reading “Planning an Oregon Beetle Bank”
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has launched the Oregon Bee Project to help improve and ensure the health of 500-plus native species of bees that pollinate many of our crops. This program will include field research, public outreach and education, and the creation of an Oregon Bee Farm Certification to reward farmers who adopt bee-friendly practices.
They are looking for six flagship farms that already have suitable pollinator habitat. Part of the evaluation process is setting out traps to get an idea of what native bees are present on these farms. And to that end, Sarah Kincaid, entomologist with the ODA paid our farm a visit and put out three blue vane traps. These traps were developed for trapping beetles but Oregon State University researcher Dr. Sujaya Rao soon noticed that they were effective Continue reading “Oregon Bee Project Looks for Native Pollinators”