Saturday, July 24th by Ashley Arons

winding down

Hey Pals, it’s great to have you back for another Pollinator Patch Blog Post! With only another month until fall 2021 semester begins, it’s time to share with you my last blog entry for the summer. These past few months have been quite the adventure and although I will be on hiatus, Emily and Uju will be around for another couple of weeks to keep you informed on all the exciting news going on in our Plots.

[Proceeding to the Patches]

Pine Patch

New Blooms

A couple new arrivals in the Pine Patch this week! In the middle of the aisle way we have one False Sunflower blooming, as well as the tall bamboo-like plants around the outskirts. With their bright yellow flowers they are hard to miss!

False Sunflowers

Heliopsis helianthoides

Tall Coreopsis

Coreopsis tripteris


Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Since weeding remains an essential part of maintaining proper plant care, Emily, Uju, and I spent a couple hours this past week weeding the Pine Patch! Here are a few pictures to show off the efforts of our hard work:

Lookin’ Spiffy, Weeding can be done in a Jiffy

The Pine Patch after a thorough trim

The only green we want to be seen!

A bumblebee assisting Emily and I with the Pine Patch aisle way

Pan Trap Collection

Despite this past week’s pan trap collection not being bountiful, we were lucky to have great weather conditions. Clear and windless skies are always welcome on our sample days, so here is to hoping that we have a similar forecast during our next round of bee bowls in a couple weeks!

Emily, Woo ’24 and Uju, Woo ’22 hand-collecting samples for future pinning and iNaturalist updates

Practicing Pinning

The first time I tried pinning a bee, I was admittedly cautious. It took quite some time for me to get used to the steady-handed process because I didn’t enjoy the thought of accidentally dismembering a bug. Now, I am proud to say that I have pinned (and glued) a fair share. While my skills are not perfected by any means, learning this technique has challenged me in ways I did not expect. Maintaining the patience required to handle dead insects and then make them fit for presentation at first seemed like a daunting task. In hindsight, however, being able to engage directly in ecological-minded research has definitely been one of the highlights of my summer.

This specimen is ready for the runway after receiving their first blowout from the Bee Salon

Final Farewell Until Fall

It’s been an enjoyable experience getting to add more plants to this patch, and I’m eager to see how they end up fairing next to the year-old plants when I get back in August. Until then, see ya next semester, Pine Patch!

One last goodbye to the Pine Patch before I head home to Michigan

College Garden

Compost Curiosities

If you’ve taken a stroll past the College Garden lately, you might have noticed a few large squash vines taking root in the Compost Area. Over the past few weeks, the Garden has received visitors that choose to recycle their food scraps into our compost bins. While we are appreciative of a mindfulness to engage in green behaviors, we do ask that when you visit the garden to please refrain from leaving items (of any nature) behind. Eventually these plants will be removed and the compost will be arranged to be active once more, but until then we can guess at the possibilities of what they could be.

Several plants have been growing in the compost!

Pumpkins Perhaps?

Pretty Petals

A couple new plants started flowering at the College Garden this week! Displaying delicate white petals, the Mountain Mint brings a nice balance to the False Sunflowers that stand out amongst the crowd. Other blooms include the Ohio Spiderwort (featured in past posts) which has yet to close up shop for the summer, as well as various Ironweed and Butterfly Milkweeds that are dispersed throughout our 7-bedded plot.

Mountain Mint

Pycanthemum muticum

False Sunflowers

Heliopsis helianthoides


Past to Present

The College Garden and its plants have come a long way from where they started back in the beginning of May. Since progress is often difficult to track when observed from a day to day basis, I decided to include pictures of The College Garden from its past and present. Spaced a little over two months apart, the two images below show just how much can change in such a short period of time. Now, with the prospect of Wooster becoming a Xerxes Society Bee Certified Campus, my hopes for the future of this project are high. And although the time I spent working in The College garden was rewarding in its own right, I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I was given to grow alongside it.

May 21st, 2021

July 24, 2021

[Last but not least]

The Top Plot and Pollinator Pics of the Week

A Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly visiting a Purple Coneflower in the Pine Patch

A Monarch Butterfly on the Butterfly Milkweed

Buzzin’ About: Bumblebee on an Echinacea

A furry friend on my way to the College Garden

Salutations to the Cicadas!

A Carpenter Bee(ing cute) next to Kauke

See(d) Y’all Next Semester!

Butterfly Milkweed pods signaling that this plant is at the end of its flowering cycle



Friday, July 16th by Ashley Arons

Welcome back to the Pollinator Plot Blog! This past week has been quite busy, so there is a lot of exciting stuff we want to catch you up on:

Garden Updates

[Pine Patch]

Rain is the name of the game:

The weather here in Wooster has been on and off with its rain clouds, which was great news for weeding. In addition to watering the new plants, the rain (with assistance from Dr. Mariola’s beetle pheromone trap) has significantly deterred the population of Japanese Beetles inhabiting the Pine Patch and the surrounding premises. To share our appreciation for the rain I included the view we have of the Pine Patch up at our lab in Ruth W. Williams.

Pine Patch from Williams, July 8th 2021

Farm to Table:

Another fun and exciting thing that happened this past week nearby the Pine Patch, was zucchini harvesting! Even though the vegetable garden is not considered a part of the Pine Patch, it is quite possible that many of the same pollinators have visited both plots. I had the opportunity to collect some zucchinis that will actually be served at local restaurants!

Zucchinis are great in pasta!

[College Garden]

What’s in Bloom:

New blooms to the College Garden this week include Ironweed, Butterfly Weed, and Rattle Snake Master. Although the Rattle Snake Master doesn’t actually “flower,” it really stands out amongst its neighboring natives, and is great for pollinators too! You may also notice the bamboo rods propping up the Ironweed and Spiderwort. Helpful to keep the plants off of the walkways, bamboo rods are perfect tools to promote plant growth in their optimal positions. If you have any plants that start to fall over, consider propping them up with something of the like!

Ironweed with its purple flower

First Butterfly Weed flower at The College Garden!

Ohio Spiderwort is still in full bloom!

Close-up of Rattlesnake Master

Not a new bloom, but this Yellow Coneflower planted a few weeks ago is bouncing back from its rough start!

Chippin’ Away:

The College Garden got a fresh look last week when the new wood chips came in. As you may be able to tell from the pictures, more wood chips are needed to be able to fill out all of the paths.  However, we did have enough to get three aisle ways weighed down. Even though by the end of this week it will likely remain incomplete; the wood chips have really started to bring the whole College Garden together. Be sure to drop on by to check out the different feel!


Would you believe it? We have wood-chip paths!

The aisle-way nearest to our shed is looking better than ever!

Chipping Away at the Wood Chip Pile


[Be(e)coming Something more]

Proposal for a Committee

The College of Wooster Pollinator Plots’ Team is happy to announce that we have made our first strides towards applying to the Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation to become a Certified Bee Campus. On Tuesday, I gave a presentation to several faculty of the college in advocation of forming a committee that would oversee the future ongoing’s of the Pollinator Patch. With support from the professors and Phil, the head of The College of Wooster’s Grounds Department, our intention for applying is now backed and can get this project underway! I hope y’all are as excited as I am for what’s to come, and continue to stay posted for more updates in these next several weeks.


[And last but not least]

Some Cool Critters to finsih your friday

Red horse sucker from Killbuck Marsh

The bunnies taking shelter beneath a car during a rainstorm

A Praying Mantis beside Kauke (AKA “The Arch”)

Tuesday, July 6th by Emily Greenland

Welcome to another Pollinator Plot update for the week of June 28th! Inspired by
Ashley’s post, I’ll start off with a quick introduction before we get to the news…



Hello! I’m Emily, a sophomore intended biology major and environmental studies minor at the College of Wooster. I’ve always had a love for the outdoors and a fascination with insects. My childhood was spent climbing trees, walking in the creek, and looking for bugs. Though I have gone through phases of catching what my family calls “potato bugs” and “lightning bugs”, identifying the butterflies in my backyard, and researching ants and cicadas, my favorite insect has always been the hummingbird hawk-moth (look them up- they’re pretty odd looking). My work with the Pollinator Plots has helped to shape my education, provide work experience in the field, and allow me to share my passion with others. I hope you enjoy learning with me through this site and iNaturalist this summer!

Garden Update:


As some of our flowers are wrapping up their blooms, we have some new blooms ready to appear any day now! Here’s a sneak peek at the new flower- any guesses?






Pinning and iNaturalist Updates:

We finished pinning the 6/23 collection this week, so we will be able to jump right into pinning our upcoming collection next week. One of our collection bowls had a whopping 7 bees in it! Also, the 6/9 collection has been uploaded to iNaturalist and is awaiting identification. Check back next week for some 6/23 bee pictures!


Interestingly, 3 out of the 15 bees in the collection were Calliopsis andreniformis (or Eastern Calliopsis Bee).




Here are 3 collections worth of vials, either filled with flies and wasps or ready to be washed.




Our first filled box of the Pollinator Plots! It has all of our 5/26 collection and a few of our 6/9 collection.



Scientist Updates:

This week was great for catching up on some indoor work! In addition to pinning and photographing, we have been working on our scientific terms and identification skills. Though daunting at first, we were able to use an identification key to help us with this bee:


Though we weren’t sure what it was at first, we were able to narrow it down to Ceratina- a new find for the plots this year!





Fun Pictures:

As always, here are some lovely pictures taken this week!