Bees in the Time of Covid-19

Bee reportLife has been transformed in the past couple weeks for pretty much everyone in the United States, and around the world.

At Avila University, faculty, staff and students have undertaken a monumental effort to move our entire spring curriculum online. Virtual classes started yesterday, almost all of us wading into unknown territory.

On the bright side, a creative challenge always gets my adrenaline going. It’s been at once invigorating and exhausting to adapt all my classes to an online platform. The Avila community has really come together on this, even as we disperse to our off-campus work spaces. At the same time, I miss day-to-day contact with my students and colleagues. And of course, the circumstances in which we are doing this – a global pandemic that’s generating considerable economic instability – add constant, distressing undertones to our efforts.

During the rush to adjust to a new normal, something wonderful did happen: Matt Kelly of the Bee Report interviewed me for his podcast. We talked at length about my work on Kansas City’s native prairie bees, including my recent publication in Ecological RestorationIt was a great conversation and a refreshing break from the heavy situation we are all dealing with.

Among the good news Matt and I discussed: Small spaces matter. Urban parks and neighborhood gardens can do a lot to help conserve our native bees, as long as they have the right resources.

Please keep this in mind as you choose plants for your spring garden, porch or deck. Many native flowering plants are low-maintenance and easy to grow. You can make a positive difference just by planting these seeds and giving pollinators a little more nectar and pollen to support their livelihoods.

If you’d like to listen to my full conversation with Matt Kelly, please visit The Bee Report Podcast. I know you’ll enjoy every moment!

Stay safe and healthy.

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