Make Your Own Native Bee Nesting Tubes For Free

I have been raising mason bees for years which means I am always buying new nesting tubes. That gets a little expensive. But over the weekend I attended a workshop down at Oregon State University and learned how to make tubes for free; not only for mason bees but for many of our other native cavity nesting bees.

Oregon’s native bees are great pollinators and providing nesting sites can increase their populations and for many crops will result in better yields. In modern landscapes we tend to be neat and tidy which often results in the removal of nesting sites. Bee hotels are a way to keep a manicured yard while still providing nesting sites.

Mason bees are the poster child for these native bees and many homeowners and schools are raising them these days. There are many other solitary bees such as Continue reading “Make Your Own Native Bee Nesting Tubes For Free”

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Long-tailed Weasel Kits

Long-tailed Weasels Mustela frenata are the larger of the two weasels in Oregon. The head is flattened, the body is long and their legs are short. They are brown dorsally and yellowish ventrally except for a white chin. The tail is long with a black tip. They can be found throughout the state.

While checking my snake study boards I found a litter of four kits under a piece of tin. Female weasels will hide their kits in a secure location while she forages for food. In the picture above you will notice a cache of food that includes three adult voles and a juvenile. The mother will move the kits to a new location if Continue reading “Long-tailed Weasel Kits”

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Oregon Native Bees Found on Farm

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”

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Intraguild Predation in Oregon Ground Beetles

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”

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Oregon Bee Project Looks for Native Pollinators

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”

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