Wednesday, June 30th by Ashley Arons

Happy Wednesday, Pollinator Patch Pals! As June comes to a close, I figured it is time to introduce myself properly, and of course share all of the new updates to our patches. So without further ado….

[Ashley Arons]

Wooster Pollinator Patch research assistant, Summer 2021
Environmental Conservation, College of Wooster 2023

A bit about me:

I am a junior environmental conservation major and studio art minor at the College of Wooster. During past summers in my hometown Midland, Michigan, I used to ride my bike down to the  tridge (it’s worth a Google). Growing up, I loved being outdoors and engaging in activities such as kayaking, camping, zip-lining, and hiking. Upon looking back, I believe these experiences catalyzed my interests in studying environment conservation. This past year I have recently found a new passion for fishing, and have enjoyed catching and releasing a variety of species all across the Michigan and Ohio waterways. Although, as fun as it is to take pictures with my finned friends, fishing has opened my eyes to just how diverse life is all around us. Over the next several weeks I intend to share with you some of the cool critters I see outside of the Pollinator Patches as well, in hopes that you will be able to have an appreciation for them too. Speaking of cool critters, I also have a pet squirrel tree frog named Dino Mite, who I met last summer chilling in the corn crate I was stocking during my job as a Produce Team Member at Meijer.


Dino Mite, AKA “Mr. Frog”


Research INterests:

Interestingly enough, this is actually the first research project that I have ever been a part of! That said, I don’t have a clear direction yet of the research I want to do in the future. However, this is a good place to enlighten you on how this experience has been going for me thus far:

When I first applied for this job I knew that it was related to the major I was studying, but little did I realize exactly how great of a fit it would be for me. Over these past couple months I have learned so many new things; whether it’s a different technique of garden care, identifying a new (to me) bee, or simply finding the time to stop and smell the flowers. While each day brings with it another goal to strive for, seeing the plants healthy and happy spells out success in my eyes. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the steady progression of this project, and even though weeding may seem like an unappealing task, anyone who’s tried their hand at battling dandelions knows just how rewarding it is when you manage to get that full tap root out.


Closing Statement:

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a bit better! I look forward to keeping y’all updated in the following weeks with all the new catches, sightings, and happenings in our plots.


And Now…

[Back to the Patches]


Garden Updates:

What’s been bugging the beebalm?

Mildew on the Monarda









With all the rain and thunderstorms of the past week, the Scarlett Beebalms has been bogged down with too much moisture! Damp environments aren’t ideal for all types of plants, and if you find a powdery mildew on any of your own houseplants try out this simple remedy:

Materials Required:

(1) tablespoon of baking soda

(1) teaspoon of liquid soap

(1) gallon of warm water

(1) gallon bucket

(1) stirring utensil

(1) spray bottle


Fill bucket with warm water. Proceed to stir in baking soda and soap. Submerge the spray bottle into well-mixed concoction. Spray mixture generously on affected plant.


battling the beetles

In addition to non-ideal conditions set by the forecast, the Scarlett Beebalm and its neighbors have been receiving unwelcome guests (as pictured below). Although it is true that beetles are pollinators, not all beetles are conducive towards stimulating healthy plant growth. While we do not endorse squishing critters of any kind, if you happen upon any of these critters in our patches, feel free to show them your disapproval by shooing them away (you know what to do).

Bad beetles >:(


Goodbye Bearded Blooms

Unfortunately this past week’s weather has made us bid an early adieu to some of our lovely flowers in the Pine Patch. Among which the majority include Foxglove beardtongue, and a few Pale purple coneflowers. The Golden Alexanders have also closed up shop for the remainder of the summer and will be back in bloom next year.

Bumble Bee bidding farewell to the Foxglove Beardtongue


Did you miss the chance to see them in person? Never fear, iNaturalist is here! Click on the links below to enjoy these flowers in their former glory!

Golden Alexanders

 Foxglove Beardtongue 

 Pale Purple Coneflower




Turning a new Stone

There have been lots of changes within the patches this past week! Not only did we clean up the aisle-ways in preparation for wood chip paths, but we also got to plant the new plugs! With roughly 60 plants to plant, Emily and I spent a couple of days finding the right spot for each newbie.

Hip Hip Hooray! We cleared out the aisle-way!

As you can see below, The College Garden has expanded to a 7th bed where 18 new transplants currently reside. Around 20 other plugs were able to be nestled into the 6 pre-planted beds, and the remaining 20 have started their new adventures living it up in the Pine Patch.

Fully Planted: 7th bed now in use at The College Garden

Gardening Tip

One of the neat features of utilizing tarps to break down your cover crop, is that it can be recycled into straw to deter weeds from taking over the bed.  Don’t get too excited though, these beds will still need to be weeded like any other, or else all your past work could be for naught!

Deceased Biomass Weed Deterrant


Be(E) On the Watch:

My favorite Microscope Pic of the Week

Eyebrows? Lookin’ fleek. Mustache? Soo chic. Antennae? On point!


Test your skills! Can you spot the insect?

Camouflaged Stinkbug


Bees might pollinate even the smallest clover! So be(e) sure to Watch your Step!


Didn’t find the Dialictus? Don’t worry, it’s down there somewhere!



The Bunnies are back!

Our furry friends on a fine Friday afternoon


And Last but not least…

Remember folks: Sharing is Caring





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Saturday, June 19th by Emily Greenland

Here is our second weekly update for the pollinator plots!

New Plant Update –

Our new plants have arrived! Following a short stay in the greenhouse to wait out the colder weather and a stop in the shade outside, we have planted some new plants in both gardens. Next week, we will get a section of the College Garden tilled and ready for the rest of the plants. Here are our plants after arrival and in one of their new homes!









iNaturalist –

We have nearly finished adding last year’s bee collection to iNaturalist and have already gotten some bees identified and verified, thanks to the community of scientists on iNaturalist! We have also finished pinning our pan trap findings from 5/26 and are beginning to move them from the drying blocks to their display box. Stay tuned for next week’s progress as we finish up last year’s bees and move onto our 6/9 collection! Pictured below are some of our pinned bees from 5/26 and our vials from 5/26 and 6/9.









New Blooms-

This week has seen some beautiful new blooms in the Pine Patch! We have Butterfly Milkweed (orange) and Scarlett Beebalms (red).









Cool Bees-

Finally, what would an update post be without bee pictures? Here are our favorite finds from this week’s work:










See you next week!

The COW Patches’ Pollinator Plot Blog

weekly entries

Welcome to our page! In these blogs we will provide weekly updates regarding the progress of our summer 2021 pollinator plot research.

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Pilot Entry: SATURDAY, June 12th 2021 by Ashley Arons 

As the second official week of our project comes to a close I wanted to share a few of the exciting things that we have been working on!

Garden Updates:

Wackin’ Weeds – 

The first thing you should know about garden work, is that it is indeed work! This past week I’ve found that the best times to weed the Pollinator Plots are after a good bit of rain, as the moisture makes the soil easier to work with. However, even with a couple hours of what I like to call weeding yoga, there are still a lot of little green unwanteds trying to take over! I have two hypothesis I want to try out here: I could either let them grow a bit bigger in hopes that they’d be easier to individually pull on a later day, or I could use my handy dandy trovel to scrape ’em out. I reckon I’ll test this on a couple of the beds to see which method is more effective. Never-the-less, weeding is important to keep up with, otherwise all that planting will have been for naught!

Tarps Can be Tubular –

Before you can tarp a bed full of cover crop, you have to cut down the pre-existing plant matter! So last week Dani and I had the opportunity of learning how to use a scythe (shoutout to Dr. Mariola for the many tutorials) and I recommend to everyone reading this to give it a try sometime! This week, however, I covered the southernmost beds and aisle with a 60′ x 6′ and 60′ x 3′ tarp respectfully, and weighed it down with a few dozen bricks. As the tarps are pretty long, it’s important to keep them from flying away. When I was securing the tarp, I happened across this spider (an unfortunate experience for those with casual arachnophobia) and I thought I would share a picture. For any spider-lovers out there, enjoy!

(No spiders were harmed.)

New Plants Soon –

Initially the addition of the tarp was intended to prepare the two beds for a fall planting, but upon the realization that the Pine Patch would be too small to add another 100 plants (that will be arriving today hopefully) we decided to revisit our plan. Stay tuned for a tarp reveal because once they’re uncovered, the beds will need to be tilled! In other plant news, the natives that were planted back in May have been doing generally well, which is great. Exceptions include a few Blue False Indigo, and Whorled Milkweed, which appear to have captured the interests of our resident bunny (and perhaps groundhog) friends.

Website Design:

Interweb Engagement –

Despite my limited experience in designing websites and using WordPress, I have enjoyed the challenge of building this virtual hang out space! As a student who is pursuing a studio art minor, I find that this project has been especially engaging because there are different aspects that I can channel my creativity into that I didn’t know where possible before. I am excited to see how this page develops and I hope you join me in the adventure that is website design!

Comments or Concerns?

If you have any suggestions for ways this website could be improved upon or more streamlined, please don’t hesitate to reach out and suggest a nudge in the right direction at my school email:


Bees & Buds –

I’m very happy to announce that our very own iNaturalist Page, CoW Pollinators and Plants, is officially up and running! I can’t lie, I need a bit more time to get used to pinning the critters we collect in our Pan traps, however I’m intrigued to get better at this new skill. If you visit our iNaturalist page and are impressed with our mini bee symposium, you’ll notice that Emily (Woo ’24) and Ren (Woo ’22) are our current certified bee photographers! Be(e) sure to send some love their way for their hard work and dedication that goes into identifying all of our fuzzy little friends.

Identification –

Thus far, my bee identification skills are capped at the common names for about 3 of the 500 various species indigenous to Ohio. In the upcoming week I will be watching a fair number of webinars as to get used to putting the names to faces and I have my work cut out for me that’s for sure!

Bee Pictures to Brighten your Day:

Last but not least, I wanted to share some cute pictures of the bees my colleagues and I have spotted this past week!

Unsure of identification, torn between Leaf-cutting bee or Mason bee (Might be wrong)

Sweat Bee on an Echinacea pallida


If it has a Shiny Hiney then it is a Carpenter Bee!

Another Sweat bee, Courtesy of Emily Greenland!


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