The NAA 2018 Pollinator Management webinar series will be seven webinars presented every other Wednesday in March and April, starting with March 7. This series serves as a companion initiative to an NAA Synthesis Paper on Pollinator Health and Resilience in Natural Areas Management that will come out in 2018. NAA is proud to present this series with support from the U.S. Forest Service.
Some of the information contained in this series was originally shared in the Pollinator Symposium at the 2017 Natural Areas Conference. Go to https://www.naturalareas.org/webinars.php to register for all webinars. Time: Wednesday, March 7, noon Eastern Speaker: Kelly Rourke, Program Coordinator - Pollinator Partnership Talk 1: (10-15 minutes) Managing Pollinators in Natural Areas: A Synthesis of New Research and BMPs Presented at the 2017 Natural Areas Conference Pollinator Symposium Pollinators play a critical role in supporting natural areas. As managers of natural systems, we are mindful, cautious, and curious about how to proceed with management actions that provide the best results for pollinators. The 2017 Natural Areas Conference Pollinator Symposium showcased new research filling gaps in our understanding of grazing and alpine forest management, as well as summaries of Best Management Practices for restoring prairies, managing honey bees, supporting monarch butterflies, and managing rangelands. Highlights and key messages from the symposium are presented in this summary webinar, setting the state for in-depth presentations offered by the presenters throughout the spring. Talk 2: (35-40 minutes) Resource-based Competition Between Managed and Wild Bees Food resource overlap between managed honey bees and wild bees presents potential challenges in management scenarios where natural forage is sought for honey bees. Natural areas managers seek guidance in decision making, ideally based on evidence from current research. Pollinator Partnership has aggregated and reviewed research on bee competition with the goal of presenting guidance and best management practices. This webinar reviews the body of research on bee competition in detail, examining methods, experimental techniques, and rigor, and presents guidance based on these findings. Only limited research has been conducted on bee competition, and it presents mixed findings; however, some consistent trends in growth limitation and reduced colony reproduction in bumble bees in the presence of honey bees provides context for management decisions. Time: Wednesday, March 21, noon Eastern Talk 1: Mary Rowland, Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Forest Service; and Dr. Sandra DeBano, Associate Professor - Invertebrate Ecology, Oregon State University: Native Bees and Large Mammals: Vertebrate - Invertebrate Interactions in Riparian Natural Areas Land managers have increased efforts to better understand how natural areas can be managed to enhance native pollinators; however, pollinator management must be balanced with other uses such as livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. Yet little attention has focused on how grazing mammals, especially native ungulates, interact with pollinators. As part of a larger, collaborative project evaluating ungulate grazing management and riparian restoration at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range (Starkey) in northeast Oregon, we examined how large mammals may influence native bees through dietary overlap. We sampled native bees and floral resources from spring to fall in 2014-2016 along a 14-km reach of Meadow Creek within Starkey to 1) document which flowering species are most commonly visited by native bees, and 2) quantify how herbivory by deer and elk influences flowering plant communities. Half of the 12 sampling sites were excluded from grazing. We recorded >150 species of flowering forbs and shrubs and >900 bee visitors of >80 species. Flowering stems were generally more abundant in ungrazed vs. grazed sites; however, patterns were highly variable in time and space and across species. For some plants frequently visited by bees and also in elk diets (e.g., Potentilla gracilis), we found higher flower abundance in ungrazed sites. We discuss management implications relative to seasonal habitat use and dietary preferences of ungulates and variation in bee phenology, and conclude with guidance about timing and intensity of ungulate grazing when managing for multiple conservation objectives in grazed sites, especially in riparian areas. Talk 2: Thomas Kaye, Executive Director and Senior Ecologist at the Institute for Applied Ecology: Partnering with Pollinators: Prairie Restoration to Support Diverse Pollinating Insects Insects are important pollinators of many plants, from agriculturally significant species to plants in natural areas. Pollinators and plants depend on one another for completion of their life cycles and together they serve significant ecosystem functions. Restoration and management of prairie habitat in the Pacific Northwest provides an opportunity to improve conditions for many pollinators, and land managers can provide better conditions for these insects by providing for basic life-history needs of major insect groups, especially through providing a diversity of plants that provide nectar and pollen as food, as well as nesting habitats. Research on habitat restoration in this region at multiple upland and wetland sites shows that flowering plant diversity can be increased by combinations of management treatments that include seeding with native plants after burning and herbicide applications. Although these treatments can improve conditions for food plants of insects, they can also harm or kill them, so it may be important to apply such treatments over portions of managed landscapes rather than all at once across managed sites. Strategies that combine improvements in plant diversity and overlapping bloom periods throughout the growing season with habitat features such as bare ground, availability of dead hollow or pithy stems of woody plants, and leafy materials, can optimize food and nesting conditions for multiple species of pollinating insects while achieving many other restoration goals. Time Wednesday, April 4, noon Eastern Talk 1: Dave Waldien, Affiliated Scholar, Christopher Newport University: Management Considerations of Pollinating Bats on Wind and Solar Farms Talk 2: Peter Beesley, Vegetation Program Manager, Expert - Pacific Gas and Electric Company: Utility Right-of-Way Management that Supports Pollinators and Safe Energy Transmission The federal strategy to promote the health of pollinators and the associated research action plan directs federal agencies to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to ensure pollinators have the right native plant communities for food and shelter. The strategy recognizes the importance that utility rights-of-way can play when considering the extent of this landscape type; their connectivity and intersection with multiple habitats; and the desirable management regimes that maintain a forb-dominated early successional landscape. With our non-profit, university and other utility partners, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is on the forefront of implementing pollinator habitat use research within electric transmission rights-of- way in the Western United States. This presentation will emphasize how the practical application of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) to support safe and reliable energy transmission goals also supports the federal strategys habitat, research and partnership goals. This information along with an overview of current and planned pollinator research that PG&E and its partners are involved with will help answer the action plan research questions that are being asked of right-of-way managers. Specifically: What are the best practices for supporting pollinators on rights-of-way? What plants are suitable for both pollination and management constraints? How do pesticide/herbicide applications affect pollinators and their habitats? Study results indicate increased pollinator use on sections of right-of-way managed through IVM. Knowledge gained by PG&E and its partners will further the utility industrys ability to implement pollinator-friendly land management techniques and to create connected habitat corridors while also implementing best practices that support safe energy transmission. Time: Wednesday, April 18, noon Eastern Talk 1: Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society: Best Management Practices for Pollinators: Creating Practices that are Meaningful and Implementable for Rangelands Rangelands account for a substantial portion of the Western US. These lands are essential for the conservation of pollinators of all types. The Xerces Society is working with the U.S. Forest Service to develop meaningful and implementable Best Management Practices (BMPs) for pollinators on western rangelands with a major focus on habitat protection, management, enhancement and restoration. These guidelines will address the needs of native bees and butterflies, including the monarch butterfly. The Xerces Society is using a process that we developed working with the Federal Highway Administration on publications that provide guidance on the science and practice of roadside management for pollinators. The steps include 1) a thorough literature review of all peer-reviewed literature and technical materials on the topic of rangeland management and restoration to enhance pollinator habitat value, 2) interviews with practitioners and others that understand the science, practice, and economic issues related to pollinator conservation and habitat management in rangeland systems. All of the information is summarized into clear, concise guidance that can be used by agency staff for real world field application. We are specifically looking at how this body of information can be applied in western North American rangeland settings while considering feasibility relative to existing practices, guidelines, and budgetary limits. These BMPs provide a roadmap for how we can better manage rangeland pollinators and a process for successful BMP creation. Talk 2: Jim Cane, Research Entomologist, USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Unit: Calculated Floral Resource Withdrawal by Managed Honey Bees in Light of Native Bee Reproduction