What's A'buzz

sbrummel2's photo

First day of autumn is in a month, but the flowers are far from being finished! The bees will be getting another fall flow here soon as well, especially if you are near bodies of water or goldenrod patches. 

Plants blooming right now (Mid-August):

  • Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum): Called compass plant for its leaves that point generally North and South, some specimens are believed to live up to 100 years! 

  • Meadow blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya): Tall spikes of purple blooms are monarch magnets as well as attractive to birds later on in the year for its profuse seed count.

  • Annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus): Classic plant, tall and many flowered, bees can collect both pollen and nectar from it. 
  • Snow on the mountain (Euphorbia marginata): A native, wild poinsettia, the beautiful white "flowers" are acutally leaf bracts that are surrounding the tiny flowers in the center of the cluster. 

  • Showy tick trefoil (Desmodium canadense): Airy small flowers are situated at the tops of may arching stems, its pink pea-like flowers are loved by bees. 

  • Ironweed (Vernonia spp): Dark purple flowers and very stiff tall stems, this genus of plants provides both color and structure to the garden or prairie. 

  • Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum): Very tall plant, has cups formed at the base of its leaves and square stem, the cups hold water that even birds can take a bath in. Bees love the long bloom time and copious amounts of pollen from this flower. 

  • Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum): Minty black licorice smell and white-ish undersides to the leaves, its easy to mix up with Korean Mint (Agastache rugosa) so check before planting! 

  • Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum): A classic garden plant, tall and stately, it provides tons of nectar to bees as well as a home for them when its hollow stems are used for solitary bee nests. 

  • Rocky Mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata): Tall annual that attracts tons of butterflies and bees! Look for bees collecting the green pollen from its multiple flowers. 

  • Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella): Vivid reds surrounding yellows give this beautiful flower its other common name "firewheel", another easy to start from seed native perrenial that is also drought tolerant. 

  • Lance leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata): Airy foliage is topped with bright yellow flowers that attract tons of pollinators, very easy to grow from seed. 

  • Goldenrod (Solidago spp): The Nebraska state flower there are 13 species in the state that bloom from mid summer to frost. 

  • Cutleaf Coneflower/Wild Golden Glow (Rudbeckia laciniata): Very tall, bright and cheery flowers that bloom later in the year to give bees those last bits of food. 

  • Partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata): Annual nitrogen fixing legume, has showy yellow flowers on short stalks. 

  • Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis) Sometimes called baby rattle, because the seeds rattle inside of an interesting-looking seed pod. 

  • Chickory*: The blue flower you see along roadsides, the root makes a great coffee substitute. 

*non-native species

Entomology News at Nebraska

Breaking Entomological News...

  • Student working with a laptop for online degreeOnline students in the online Master's of Science (MS) degree program will benefit from a reduced credit-hour requirement and a reduced time requirement following changes by the UNL Graduate College and the Entomology Department. Starting next fall, students may earn an online MS degree for 30 credits, instead of 36 credits, under the Option B.  The new degree plan must be completed within five years, instead of 10 years.  More details about this change may be found on the IANR News website.
  • Dr. Gary Brewer
  • Dr. Gary Brewer, professor of Entomology has a new Push-Pull Strategy to manage Stable Flies.  These flies cause billions in economic losses for the US and the world. Brewer explains the Strategy on this YouTube Video. 
  • Annie KruegerAnnie Krueger, Ph.D. candidate in Entomology, was featured in the IANR Student Spotlight this week. Annie is from Stevensville, MD, and plans to graduate this August. She is mentored by Dr. Troy Anderson

  • Dr. Doug GolickDr. Doug Golick, associate professor of Entomology, received a $19,259 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) in April. He received one of 23 grants that were awarded to faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Golick will study Milkweed as a teaching tool in the classroom. 
  • Dr. Autumn SmartThe Economics of Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Mgt. & Overwintering Strategies of Colonies Used to Pollinate Almonds,” co-authored by Dr. Autumn Smart, was chosen as a runner-up in the 2019-20 Readers' Choice Award for the Journal of Economic Entomology. Congratulations Autumn!
  • Matthew GreinerMS student Matt Greiner (mentored by Ana Vélez) was awarded 1st place in the student paper competition at the recent Ozark-Prairie SETAC meeting. The victory will provide him with funds to attend the national SETAC meeting in November. Way to go, Matthew!