Dr Jim Rivers on PolliNation

Dr. Jim Rivers is a vertebrate ecologist and leader of the Forest Animal Ecology Lab at Oregon State University. With broad research interests that are focused in the fields of animal behavior and physiological ecology, his research program combines observational, experimental, and comparative approaches to test predictions from theory in empirical settings. He recently lead the Pollinators in Managed Forests workshop, which brought together speakers from Oregon State, Washington State, Montana State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to address a variety of topics, including the influence of wildfire severity, salvage logging, herbicides and practical ways to augment blooms for native bees.

We’re talking today about how pollinator habitats and forests coexist and work with each other, the ways that bees thrive in forested areas, and how he and others in the field have begun researching the behavior of pollinators in forested areas.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“I’ve been surprised we’ve had bee research at OSU for four or five decades now, but we haven’t had a lot of people looking in forests, and particularly in managed forests, and that’s where a lot of my research has been taking place.“ – Dr. Jim Rivers

Show Notes:

  • Why forests are an important place for pollinators
  • How surrounding landscapes could contribute to pollinator habitats
  • How Jim is possibly creating jet fuel in his forest research
  • What Jim samples to learn about forest bee populations
  • What the effect of herbicides on pollinators could be
  • Why Jim brought together stakeholders to talk about pollinators and managed forests
  • The social shift that has occurred in the importance of pollinators
  • Why Jim recommends getting a digital microscope

“There’s a lot more that we don’t know about bees in managed forests than what we do know.“ – Dr. Jim Rivers

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Erin Udal leads community pollinator conservation projects out of Vancouver, BC and was formerly the Program Manager and Pollinator Specialist with the Environmental Youth Alliance. With her background in conservation biology, she designs bee-friendly gardens and develops citizen science projects, working to help people protect pollinators in our backyards and parks. Erin finds facilitating hands-on outdoor education very rewarding, and always pleased to share the fascinating and diverse world of native bees with anyone who cares to learn.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“Using the scientific process is one of our greatest tools, and in order to get people back to that trust, we have to give them opportunities and tools to engage with it.“ – Erin Udal

Show Notes:

  • Why Erin’s first couple years of data collection didn’t go so well
  • How Erin goes about preparing citizen scientists
  • The reason that there isn’t better communication between scientists and the public
  • The way that Erin hopes to move scientific literacy forward
  • Why Eric uses the bottom-up approach to leadership
  • The movement towards making science accessible to a broader audience
  • How an artist can bring science a different narrative
  • What Erin means by “Stewardship with a capital S”

“I think it was Carl Sagan that said, ’Science is not so much a body of information, but a way of thinking’, and so I want people to feel like they are part of that way of thinking.“ – Erin Udal

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

David Phipps is considered one of the Northwest’s leaders in golf course environmental stewardship and innovation. While working as the superintendent at Stone Creek Golf, he received the GCSAA President’s Award for Environmental Stewardship in 2012, as well as the 2004-2005 Cooperator of the Year by the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District. David received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Oregon State University in Horticulture, Turf and Landscape Management, and currently works for the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America as the NW Region Field Staff Representative.

Today we’re talking about pollinator habitats curated within golf courses, how they can best be utilized, and David’s amazing contributions to conservation and the golf industry.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“I think there’s a place in almost every model of golf course [for pollinators].” – David Phipps

Show Notes:

  • How David became involved in the intersection of golf and conservation
  • Why David’s program became the gold standard for golf courses around the country
  • How courses around the world have contributed to pollinators in different ways
  • The ways David developed the habitat alongside the course
  • What lessons David has learned from the pollinator habitat projects
  • How irrigation and improper preparation can cause habitats to fail
  • The way that pollinators fit into different kinds of courses

“If you’ve got an area that’s not going to see balls landing but you can still benefit from the beautification of the wildflowers, those are areas that can be utilized.” – David Phipps

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Lynn A. Royce, Ph.D. did her doctoral research on tracheal mites of honey bees and has studied pollinators for over 30 years.

She is a passionate scientist who cares deeply about implementing research in practical applications to improve honey bee health.

In this episode, we talk about her organization Tree Hive Bees, and how you can perform “bee-lining” to trace wild bees back to their colonies in trees.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“There’s a lot of things we don’t know about how bees perceive stuff and why they would look at one tree over another.” – Lynn Royce

Show Notes:

  • Where honey bees used to live in the wild
  • How the honey bee would find a big enough cavity in a tree
  • How a bee colony looks like when they don’t have a man-made bee hive
  • How bee-lining works
  • How to catch bees in order to trace them back to their wild home
  • Why she started Tree Hive Bees
  • What we can learn from the bees’ natural habitat

“Maybe we need to go back to the bee tree and see what we’ve changed that we might be able to get back to the bees that might help them.” – Lynn Royce

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Ellie Andrews is a PhD student in Development/Rural Sociology at Cornell University. As honey bees across the US face a range of challenges, keeping bees healthy and productive requires ever more skill and investment. Her research seeks to understand the sociological dimensions of these educational imperatives: how are new beekeepers learning to keep bees and how are experienced ones adapting to new challenges?

Ellie is interested in how people evaluate and use different sources of information about beekeeping, how the motivation to “save the bees” informs beekeepers’ management decisions and colony survival, and how individuals’ approach to “sustainable beekeeping” may change as they gain experience and expertise. Her research is based on interviewing beekeepers across New York State and beyond, observing beekeeping clubs and classes (including serving as an officer in her own club), helping put together Cornell’s new and improved Master Beekeeping program, and going into the archives to research the origins of beekeeping extension programs and the professionalization of beekeeping over the last century.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“In 2008, people started answering the survey saying they were keeping bees in order to save them.” – Ellie Andrews

Show Notes:

  • How Ellie became interested in the intersection of bee keeping and sociology
  • What rural resilience means
  • How bee keeping as a social activity can become more robust
  • Why more people are doing bee keeping now in order to “save the bees”
  • What sustainable bee keeping means for different people
  • How people are learning about bee keeping
  • The role of bee clubs and how they are doing
  • Why lots of bee clubs are experiencing a revitalization
  • The enormous surge in bee keeping around WWI and WWII and what that can teach us

“There’s no consensus on what sustainability means for bees, for agriculture more broadly, and natural resource management beyond that.” – Ellie Andrews

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Ellen Topitzhofer works for the Bee Informed Partnership, an innovative organization across the U.S. that works with commercial bee keepers to tackle some of their most pressing pest management issues.

In this episode, we discuss the unique pest issues in the Pacific Northwest, and explore the universal problem of varroa mites in bee colonies. We talk about how best to manage those pests, the relationship of the mites to the bees and pollination patterns, and more.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“Some of the most beautiful places I’ve been to have been bee yards.” – Ellen Topitzhofer

Show Notes:

  • What the Bee Informed partnership is and how it started
  • How they educated commercial bee keepers
  • What makes Pacific Northwest beekeeping different than other regions of the country
  • An introduction to varroa mites
  • How to treat for these types of mites
  • What the tech transfer team does
  • The logistics of sampling for mites
  • Why varroa mites increase when colonies go into Pollination
  • How mites move from an apiary to another
  • How their research changes the way that commercial bee keepers operate
  • Why some bees drift to different colonies

“We help bee keepers colonies by testing colonies, to assist commercial bee keepers in making management decisions about queen breeding, pests, and colony health. .” -Ellen Topitzhofer

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Jen Holt is the brand new Coordinator for the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program at OSU.

In this episode, we’ll learn about how Jen got interested in bees, what she sees for the future of the program, and the ins and outs of how the program functions today.

We discuss beekeeping education from the start to the master – how to take a regular person and turn them into a beekeeper. Jen is co-appointed to the OSU Pollinator Health Program, so we talk about creating synergy between the two programs.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“We don’t want people to be turned away from beekeeping just because they don’t have the knowledge to succeed.” – Jen Holt

Show Notes:

  • How Jen learned to become a beekeeper
  • Some of the things that people who are interested in working with bees worry about
  • The many levels of the master beekeeping program in Oregon
  • How the geographic diversity of Oregon presents challenges and opportunities
  • How the master beekeepers teach the program in different part of the state
  • How the curriculum is developed for the program
  • How the program is powered by volunteers
  • What Jen Holt sees going forward for the program
  • How beekeeping connects us back to ancient times

“I would like to increase the partnership in the program between honey bees and native bees, because honey bees are often a gateway to learning about native bees.” – Jen Holt

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Bee habitat in agricultural landscapes is key element in any good strategy for pollinator health. But farmers have a lot going on and may not have clear answers to some important pollination questions.

Our guest is here to help us with these issues. Jessa Kay Cruz is the Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist for California with the Xerces Society.

Based in Sacramento, Jessa works closely with landowners and farmers, developing strategies for overcoming misconceptions when it comes to pollinators and their habitats.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“One thing that has happened with modern agriculture is that we really lost biodiversity in our agricultural systems..” – Jessa Kay Cruz

Show Notes:

  • How diverse agricultural landscapes are today compared to past decades
  • Why food deserts are being created for bees
  • How farmers can be stewards of the land
  • Some of the misconceptions about bees that growers have
  • How the Xerces Society provides support for farmers and growers
  • As a farmer, what are key considerations when you want to put in a pollinator habitat?
  • Why even some organic pesticides are harmful to bees and how to separate spray areas from habitat areas
  • How to select the plants to put in when making a habitat area
  • Why it’s important to plant a diversity of different types of plants
  • Why planting un-flowering plants can help create nesting areas for bees
  • How to prepare the habitat area before you plant
  • Why you might not want to till up the soil

“Bees are just like people that way, they have different preferences, and they eat a good diversity of different sources of pollen. And different pollen provides certain nutrients for bees.” – Jessa Kay Cruz

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Ruth Marsh is a multidisciplinary artist based out of Halifax, NS. Her work uses absurd and often comically deadpan narratives to address loss, absence and longing in the context of living creatures and the natural world. She is interested in investigating themes of environmental loss through labour intensive meditations on transformation: life to death, experience to memory and the surrealistic degradation of information that occurs with each successive change of state.

In this episode, we talk about her work repairing bees. She creates these labor-intensive repairs using found objects, and uses exhibitions of the work to bring together people from the scientific and art community.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“I am hoping that when someone sees an individual bee that has been repaired with so much care that they can build an empathetic relationship with a creature that might not necessarily be seen as an individual and not necessarily relatable to in a human way.” – Ruth Marsh

Show Notes:

  • How Ruth creates her work and why
  • Why people send her bees in the mail
  • About her stop-motion video with the bees she repairs
  • How her work showcases the diversity of bees
  • The distinct rolls that scientists and artists can take in engaging people around issues in pollinator health
  • What it’s like to see one of Ruth’s exhibitions
  • The importance of amateur scientists
  • How to taxidermy a bee
  • How artists can be activist for change

“There seems to be a really strong grassroots movement making people aware of issues faced by pollinators, so there’s a more hopeful aspect to my work.” – Ruth Marsh

Links Mentioned:

Share this:

Scott MacIvor is an Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology at the University of Toronto at Scarborough in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Scott is also a researcher at the Green Roof Innovation Testing (GRIT) lab at the University of Toronto in the faculty of Landscape Architecture. Scott has published 12 peer-reviewed articles on green roof ecology and performance, and works with the City of Toronto Planning Division on a number of projects, which have included the ‘Bees of Toronto’ Biodiversity Series book, and the ‘Guidelines for Biodiverse Green Roofs’.

Today we’re talking about the Bees of Toronto book, what makes the city special for pollinators, and why urban habitats are so important for bee conservation.

You can Subscribe and Listen to PolliNation on Apple Podcasts.

And be sure to leave us a Rating and Review!

“We are really interested in mainstreaming biodiversity.” – Scott MacIvor

Show Notes:

  • Why Toronto is a great place for bees
  • How the history of Toronto has made it a great place for pollinators
  • The different kinds of bees that you can find in Toronto
  • Is there such a thing as an invasive bee or not?
  • How they came about writing the Bees of Toronto book
  • The many different types of people who care for bees in Toronto
  • Why more and more of people’s experiences with nature are happen within an urban realm
  • How artists are being inspired by pollinators
  • Some of the threats to bee declines in cities
  • Why soil conditions are important for more than 75% of the bees in Toronto
  • The limiting factors of studying bees in cities
  • Why cities might act as a refuge for bees
  • How bees interact with their landscapes in different ways
  • Why all landscapes need to be conservation areas

“We know about our bees in Toronto than almost any other city in the world.” – Scott MacIvor

Links Mentioned:

Share this: