The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act; effective on March 21, 2017. Learning of this troubling development was tempered a bit by an e-mail message sent yesterday by Dan Potter (University of Kentucky, Entomology) to an entomology listserv.
Dan alerted recipients to a flyer listing flowering plants that are attractive to bees that was developed by the Horticulture Research Institute (HRI) based on ongoing research conducted by his Ph.D. student, Bernadett Mach. Quoting from Dan's message: "Bernie’s objectives involves documenting pollinator assemblages (family/genus/species, richness, diversity, and relative attractiveness) of some 75 species of native and non-native flowering woody landscape plants. HRI is publicizing the general bee attractiveness ratings to promote interest in and sales of underutilized horticulturally-desirable woody ornamentals."
This is a recent example of the dedicated work Dan and his graduate students have been doing for many years to help all of us have a more positive impact on the plight of our pollinators! It also demonstrates that all news about pollinators is not bad news.
You can access a copy of "Plants Bees Like Best: Bee-Friendly Trees and Shrubs," by clicking on the first hotlink under More Information below. You can learn more about HRI's "Million Pollinator Garden Challenge" and the accompanying "Grow Wise: BEE SMART" marketing toolkits by clicking on the second hotlink. You can view the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service endangered species notice by clicking on the third hotlink. Do your part to support our pollinators!