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!

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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