Posts By: Elizabeth Frost

Spotlight on Buckwheat

http://beeinformed.org/2013/09/spotlight-on-buckwheat/

Brought to America in the 1600s by Dutch settlers, buckwheat is on the mind of the average American only when its name is followed by the word pancakes. The plant, Fagopyrum esculentum, was domesticated in Asia some 5,000 to 6,000 years ago and spread in cultivation across Europe. In the U.S. buckwheat was historically grown in highest…

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Largest Mass Bumble Bee Death on Record

On the eve of National Pollinator Week the largest mass bumble bee death on record occurred in a Wilsonville, Oregon parking lot. The estimated 50,000 bumble bees found dead in the Target lot had foraged on some fifty-five ornamental linden trees, confirmed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture to have been sprayed with the insecticide…

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Flora at Joshua Tree National Park

http://beeinformed.org/2013/01/flora-at-joshua-tree-national-park/

Some of my favorite memories of the great outdoors in 2012 include sunny days spent in Joshua Tree National Park last November. Having never been, I was amazed at the diversity of plants to be seen. Situated in both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, the park has a multitude of cacti and shrubs as well…

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Halloween and the Honey Bee

http://beeinformed.org/2012/10/halloween-and-the-honey-bee/

Halloween is coming up ladies and that means you need to pick a costume and fast. For you bee enthusiasts out there it may be difficult to waver from variations on the cute honey bee costume popularized by the “Bee Girl” in Blind Melon’s 1993 video for “No Rain.” This year however I challenge you to…

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Spotlight on Rabbitbrush

http://beeinformed.org/2012/10/spotlight-on-rabbitbrush/

Sources of fall forage are ever important as we head into winter in California. With a bloom period ranging from August through October, rabbitbrush is one such source that provides both nectar and pollen. There are many species of rabbitbrush which range from British Columbia in the North to New Mexico in the South, California…

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Spotlight on Valley Oak

http://beeinformed.org/2012/09/spotlight-on-valley-oak/

As we enter the final week of summer it seems fitting to talk about Quercus lobata Née, the Valley Oak. This tree is a late summer source of bee forage in Northern California where forage is scarce going into the fall. Valley oaks are endemic to California and are found in the interior valleys and…

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Spotlight on Gum Plant

http://beeinformed.org/2012/08/spotlight-on-gum-plant/

North Dakota landscapes, both farmed and fallow, are golden-hued with the onset of sunflower, goldenrod and gum plant bloom. These three plants belong to the family Asteraceae, commonly called the Aster or Sunflower Family. While sunflower and goldenrod are well-known late summer sources of forage, gum plant also provides a source of nectar and pollen…

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It’s Raining Frass!

http://beeinformed.org/2012/07/its-raining-frass/

In early June I experienced an outbreak of forest tent caterpillars (FTC), Malacosoma disstria, while sampling at an apiary in west-central Minnesota. Not only were the hive lids covered with frass, the technical term for insect feces, but the caterpillars themselves were falling on both the lids and my shoulders as I worked. According to…

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The Midwest at its Best

http://beeinformed.org/2012/06/the-midwest-at-its-best/

Not many Californians would jump at the opportunity to spend their summer in Minnesota and North Dakota, but not many Californians work with bees either. I was glad to be given the opportunity to work with Katie Lee in the Bee Informed Partnership and pack my bags and relocate to St. Paul at the beginning…

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