Know which insects, mammal help the entire community Pollinators


By Sara Scudier and Katie Kane Shipka

Ohio certified volunteer naturalists

Our own Canfield Fair – we wait all year to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of pure enjoyment. Who can resist all the farm animals some of us see only once a year, the joyful screams of riders on wild rides and the boisterous engines of farm equipment?

Let’s also not forget yummy elephant ears, sausage sandwiches, bloomin’ onions and fresh-made lemonade. But just as important is the information and education we can all absorb at Building 44, showcasing the master gardener volunteers and Ohio certified volunteer naturalists working to bring fair visitors vital tips on growing gardens, soil testing and potential problems encountered in our landscapes.

One of the numerous displays with live plants, a full-scale vegetable and herb garden and other gardening delights is our collection of insects at the Pollinator & Insect area. Volunteers have gotten together to bring both adults and children information on the value of pollinators in our gardens and throughout our properties. Every pollinator garden and every flowering plant grown to support them helps the entire community. Many of you know pollinators are of vital importance to our future crop production, but do you know which insects (and one mammal) that are pollinators? Take a look:

Beetles and wind: Our displays of insects and posters of information will tell the story of how wind is necessary for pollination of many wildflowers, grasses, trees and crops. About 12 percent of flowering plants are wind pollinated. Beetles make up the largest group of pollinating animals because there are so many of them. Come find out how and why.

Flies: Many of you might be surprised by the inclusion of flies. The life cycle of flies will be presented and displayed to help you learn their importance in pollination.

Butterflies/bees: These insects are the ones most of us think of when we refer to pollinators. Come examine the fascinating life cycle of butterflies, gaze at the pictures and study the honeycomb where bees grow and develop. A hands-on activity will also be available for all ages.

Bats: Oh, yes! Not an insect, but a mammal, yet they play a vital role in pollination. We’ll show you how they get the job done.

View the many species of insects, try to identify some with which you are familiar, and learn some new, beneficial ones that you can find in your garden.

Information and tips will be available to help you create your own pollinator garden. Be sure to visit our table for interesting facts on the importance of pollinators.

For more on pollinators, visit http://go.osu.edu/pollination.

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