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Visit Pollinator Lane at Wisconsin Farm Tech Days July 19-21 – Audio

20150720_summer_campus-60Christine Wen, Walworth County Extension Horticulture Educator
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Christine Wen describes bee hotels and other pollinator attractions at Farm Technology Days.
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2:59 – Total Time
0:18 – Pollinator Lane at Farm Tech Days
0:40 – Bee Hotels introduced
1:23 – Visit Pollinator Lane to see hotels
1:45 – What a bee hotel looks like
2:33 – Kicks off identify a pollinator program
2:48 – Lead out


Sevie Kenyon: Learning all about pollinators. We’re visiting today with Christine Wen Horticulture Educator in Walworth County University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Christine you’re going to talk about pollinators at Farm Technology Days this year, give us a quick description of the pollinator program.

Christine Wen: So at Farm Technology Days what you’ll see is a swath of outdoor garden space that we’ve designated that’s called Pollinator Lane, and in that space there will be three hundred, over three hundred native species of plants that are pollinator friendly habitat. Also, it’ll highlight some bee hotels.

Sevie Kenyon: Christine, what on earth are bee hotels?

Christine Wen: Bee hotels is a project that I’m working with in conjunction with some help from the University. So, P.J. Leisch, from the insect diagnostic lab, is helping me and then also Christy Stewart from the Department of Horticulture is helping me and with their knowledge on pollinators we’ve created a local program here where we’ve invited schools and some other organizations to participate in building bee hotels and what these are, are habitat that solitary nesting bees can come and lay their eggs in and then they will leave and potentially their eggs will be healthy and hatch and we’ll have a new population of some of our native pollinators.

Sevie Kenyon: Christine, are people going to be able to see some of this in action during the show?

Christine Wen: We hope so, so our pollinator bee hotels will be out in prairies until the show and with the intent that some of those small holes and cavities will have pollinators that have visited and laid their eggs so that’s our intent, if it happens or not I don’t know. All of the hotels will be on display.

Sevie Kenyon: Christine, perhaps you can describe one of these bee hotels and what it looks like?

Christine Wen: So the bee hotels are mostly they look like a very small house on three sides are all closed in with a small roof and inside of there are stems from plant material that we’ve collected and two by fours or pieces of wood that have holes drilled inside of them and the shape of the hole and the size of the hole and the length of the holes all determine what sort of bee will come and lay their eggs inside of there. So, we’ve kind of crammed all of these, if you can imagine a roof and all this material kind of crammed into and box, that would be a bee hotel and people can look online to look them up, or certainly, we also have pictures on our website as well.

Sevie Kenyon: Christine, if people who may visit the Farm Technology Days and look at this exhibit are there things there for them to take home and do?

Christine Wen: We’re creating a Wisconsin bee identification guide. So, that will be at Farm Tech Days kind of as a premier site for us and a starting point where they can take that guide bring it home with them and start to identify the bees that are surrounding them and inside of their local community.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Christine Wen Horticulture Educator in Walworth County University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and I’m Sevie Kenyon.