Daily Archives: June 6, 2014

Crow Bee with Pollen by Sam Droege, USGS

 

 

 

Crow Bee with Pollen by Sam Droege, USGS

Crow Bee Horizontal

Pollinators such as bees fertilize flowers by transferring pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of the same type of flower. We have highlighted bees before but with the importance they represent to agriculture and ecosystems, they deserve to be revisited. Although most of us are familiar with honeybees, wild type or native bees are even more effective pollinators. Other insects pollinate also. These include wasps, moths and butterflies; although they are not important crop pollinators. Like bees, they all maintain ecosystems by ensuring that certain flowering plants produce plentiful quantities of viable seed, not only to sustain that plant species but to provide food for wildlife like huckleberries that grizzly bear like so much. The crow bee pictured above visits sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. You can help bees and other pollinating insects in your own backyard by not applying insecticides to flowers. Also avoid using herbicides (weedkillers) containing glyphosphate that kill milkweed plants, the only plants upon which Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs and Monarch caterpillars feed.

National Trails Day is Saturday, June 7th!

The American Hiking Society has an interactive website that identifies organized hiking events in your area. But there are many trails that you can just use any day of the year. The Kansas Trails Council also has an interactive map highlighting the locations of many great trails in Kansas.

Here are three outstanding trails and their links:

Horsethief Canyon Trails in Kanopolis State Park southeast of Salina.

Gary L. Haller Trail in Johnson County Kansas. It has been designated as a National Recreation Trail.

95th Street access to the Gary L. Haller Trail

95th Street access to the Gary L. Haller Trail

Elk River Hiking Trail in Montgomery County. It has been designated a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Trail System. Backpacker Magazine has rate it the best trail in Kansas.