Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Bumble Bee Expert Offers Update on Local Bees
Thursday, April 4, 2019


A number of Wood River Valley residents couldn’t go on a hike last summer without keeping their antennae up for Bombus, a genus of the bumblebee family.

These do-gooders had enlisted in the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Project, which charged these citizen scientists with keeping a record of how many bees they spotted and where.

Ross Winton, an entomologist who introduced them to the project last year, will be back on Friday to give an update on Idaho’s Pollinators and the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee project.

Winton, who works with Idaho Fish and Game and as a project director for the bee project, will make a presentation from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 5, in the basement of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 101 2nd Ave. S., Hailey. The room is best entered from Bullion Street.

Bees may be small but they’re immense important, said Lisa Horton, a member of the Idaho Native Plant Society Wood River chapter.

Their pollination makes possible 75 percent of the foods, beverages, medicines, condiments and spices we consume and the clothes we wear. And that includes chocolate, coffee and cotton clothing.

They’re also responsible for the beautiful wildflowers Sun Valley-area residents are privy to during  spring and summer hikes.

Winton has been involved in the Wildlife Diversity program, an ambitious project to help scientists better understand the 30 species of native bees in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The program recruits and trains citizen scientists to map an area in their own neighborhood, collect quality scientific data and thereby contribute to global understanding of bumble bee species distribution.

“Winton is a wonderfully engaging speaker, full of interesting details. And he really gets the connection between native pollinators and native plants,” said Kristin Fletcher, president of the Wood River Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society.

The program is sponsored by the Idaho Native Plant Society Wood River chapter but you need not to be a member to attend.

To study the Bumble Bee Atlas, go to https://www.pnwbumblebeeatlas.org.



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