Dr. Gail Langellotto on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Dr. Gail Langellotto is an Associate Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University, and coordinator of OSU Extension Master Gardener program. As the secretary of the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture, Gail works with industry, academic, and nonprofit leaders to document the benefits of home community gardening and to promote public support for research and extension in consumer horticulture.

Although her graduate and post-doctoral work was conducted in natural (e.g. forests, salt marshes, grasslands) or agricultural (e.g. cotton, papaya) areas – her first job was at a University in the south Bronx. Knowing that natural or agricultural field sites would be difficult to find – she quickly reconnected with her love for cities, and began to study the ecology of pollinators in urban community gardens.

Listen in to learn about ground nesting bees, the potential problems of plant lists, and how to maximize the benefits of urban landscapes for pollinators.

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“[A review by Garbuzov et al.] point out that many lists of plants for pollinators are put together anecdotally; they seem to represent someone’s personal preferences for particular plants and that in order to have really good information on what plants are attractive to pollinators we need more rigorous observations and research trials.“ – Dr. Gail Langellotto

Show Notes:

  • What common misconceptions and knowledge gaps exist in the field of urban landscapes and pollinators
  • Why gardeners need to consider nest sites for all bees
  • What is the impact of a few neighborhood gardeners working for pollinators
  • How urban landscape researchers secure funding and support
  • How many environmental issues that affect pollinators have public health consequences
  • Why plant lists for gardeners can be hurting pollinator habitats
  • What bees need to create their nest
  • What the nest of a ground nesting bee looks like
  • Why many gardeners are apprehensive to leave ground nesting habitat for bees
  • What is the “landscape mullet” hypothesis
  • The trick to using an aspirator to collect insects and leave the flower head intact

“A lot of [gardeners] don’t recognize the importance of nest sites for bees, and in particular, the importance of nest sites for ground nesting bees.“ – Dr. Gail Langellotto

Links Mentioned:

4 thoughts on “34 Dr. Gail Langellotto – What do Bees Need from Your Garden?

  1. Please add edable plants to the Native plants list. My goal is a sustainable food forest that has a polinaters focus.

    • Hi Terry. I passed your comment along on to Dr. Langellotto. But I do think a great idea for a show is on edible native plants. I will keep my eye out for a guest. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Hi: this was very interesting to me! I LOVE bees…and other pollinators. About three years ago I decided to xeriscape my front yard. The first year the rabbits ate everything on top, and (much to my surprise) I had voles, and they ate the roots. Last summer a few of my plants managed to survive a summer without water and the critters. I discovered a nest of tiny, black bees under the edge of my pond in the back yard………but, wasps seem to have killed them. (I DO NOT LIKE WASPS). This year, I’m all in to get the yard fully landscaped and want to provide the best possible environment for the pollinators….so if someone wants to use my yard, in our HOA, as a test ground……I’m all for it! BTW….through a wonderful accident, I have a forest of hollyhocks, that re-generate themselves every year, and that the bees love. Come use my yard and put in some plots….whenever you want!!
    Mary – Centennial, CO


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