BMGA members interested in bees and pollinators can assist in a project with the ultimate goal of creating a field-tested list of the best Texas and Oklahoma landscape plants for pollinators. This is an opportunity for Master Gardeners to use their knowledge and skills in the garden to participate in a real citizen-data collection project to provide important data to scientists and researchers hoping to reduce the decline of pollinators in Texas and Oklahoma.
Michael Merchant, Ph.D, BCE, Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, asks Texas and Oklahoma Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists for feedback about the top plants for pollinators in their gardens. In addition, he wants to assess who is interested in participating in a pollinator count this summer. Exact details about the planned count will be provided later. But now, to get started, Master Gardeners may complete a survey indicating their interest in participating in a pollinator count and identifying top plants in their garden that attract pollinators.
Some of you may be familiar with Dr. Merchant and his AgriLife Extension Insects in the City blog or as a trainer in the Master Gardener program on the topic of entomology. Dr. Merchant says he knows there is a lot of collective wisdom of out there among gardeners and naturalist on what plants serve as highly attractive nectar sources for pollinators. If the project team can get a good response from Master Gardeners and others to this survey, it should give the project a good starting list of potential pollinator plants to study this summer.
Below is a link to a Qualtrix survey for Master Gardeners with an interest in bees and pollinators. If you are interested in assisting with this project, please complete the survey.
The Bluebonnet Master Gardener Association has a long standing interest in educating the public about and creating pollinator-friendly landscapes. The Sheridan 4H Youth Butterfly Garden in Colorado County, Texas is an example of a pollinator friendly garden. In addition, through our Kids’ Kamp summer program, Lunch-N-Learn series and other programs, we include education about the importance of pollinators to our nation’s food production and agriculture. BMGA can continue its dedication to increase awarness of the importance of pollinators and in helping to increase pollinator-friendly landscapes in our area with a strong participate in this project from its members.