Category Archives: Beneficial Insects

Pollinators in Your Parking Strip

What’s the first thing people see when approaching a house? The parking strip.What is often the ugliest, most barren part of a yard? The parking strip! The parking strip, often called a “Hell Strip”, is a tough landscaping challenge. Narrowly … Continue reading

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How do we know what flowers bees like?

Pollinator Syndromes Pollinator syndromes are the characteristics or traits of a flower that appeal to a particular pollinator. These traits often help pollinators locate flowers and the resources (e.g. pollen or nectar) that the flowers have to offer. Syndromes include … Continue reading

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Does Repeated, Lethal Sampling Contribute to Insect Declines?

Over the past few months, I have shared data on bees and other insects that we have collected from Portland-area gardens. For every garden insect we study (except for butterflies, which can be identified to species by sight), we use … Continue reading

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A Primer on Parasitoids

You know about butterflies, about bees, beetles, and ladybugs, all of our favorite garden critters – but do you know about the parasitic wasp? Alias: The Parasitoid. Not quite a parasite and not quite a predator, they are the zombie-creating … Continue reading

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Setting up a native-nativar plant study

Natives vs Nativars Recent studies report an increase in consumer demand for native plants, largely due to their benefits to bees and other pollinators. This interest has provided the nursery industry with an interesting labelling opportunity. If you walk into … Continue reading

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How attractive are native wildflowers to gardeners?

For my dissertation research, I am studying which native Willamette Valley wildflowers are most visited by pollinators and natural enemies for use in home gardens and urban landscaping. I’ve previously shared preliminary results from my field study on our blog, … Continue reading

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Flies as Pollinators

This post comes from Cliff Brock, who is a graduate student in the Contreras (plant breeding), Langellotto (pollinators), and Lambrinos (invasive plants) lab groups. Cliff is studying the impact that plant breeding has on invasiveness and pollinator visits in butterfly … Continue reading

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Megachile Bees from Portland-Area Gardens

Every June – August, from 2017-2019, we collected bees from 25 Portland area gardens. As I start to build out a Bee Guide for Portland Gardens, I wanted to highlight some of the notable bees that we collected. We are … Continue reading

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From the Lab to Your Laptop: Getting Research to the Public

The members of the Garden Ecology lab spend much of their time on research into subjects that affect, what else, the ecology of home gardens. Pollinators and their relations with native and non-native plants, bee variety and abundance in gardens, … Continue reading

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2019 Native Plant Field Season Update

I’m thrilled to announce that this summer I completed the third field season of my study. This is slightly bittersweet – while I’m excited that we are done with hot fieldwork, I will miss chasing bees around the farm and … Continue reading

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