The Terrestiral Wildlife Ecology Lab (TWEL) in the School of Environment and Natural Resources is creating diverse food and habitat areas for honey bees and other pollinators. These efforts are contributing nationally to the promotion of new pollinator forage. With TWEL’s help, the Feed a Bee initiative has reached a milestone - funding planting projects in all 50 states to support honey bee health. Gabriel Karns, a visiting assistant professor and his research teamused Feed a Bee funds to convert over 20 acres of pipeline corridors to pollinator habitat using Integrated Vegetation Management techniques.
In continuing efforts to help the declining Monarch butterfly population, the Save Our Monarchs Foundation (SOM) is creating Monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitat along TransCanada Corporation rights-of-way in central Ohio’s Three Creeks Metro Park. The planting results from a strong partnership between TransCanada, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative, and the School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University. Monarch habitat consists of bio-diverse landscapes that contain milkweed and other native nectar and pollen sources, have a nearby water source, and are protected from disturbance factors such as untimely mowing. Habitat for Monarchs also makes excellent habitat for other vital and diminishing species, including other native butterflies and bees, and migratory and ground-nesting birds.
The brown misshapen circles of dead grass in the quarter-acre plot between Ovalwood Hall and a student parking lot barely hint at what’s to come, but next spring the land under the First Energy transmission lines will transform into the beginnings of a vibrant garden of flowers and grasses conducive to pollinators. The goal of “A Monarch Right-of-Way: A Pollinator Demonstration Plot” is to create a demonstration area to show landowners who have utility rights-of-way on their property some alternative wildlife habitats.