Discover best plants to support beneficial insects at upcoming field day

Register to attend this Aug. 2, 2016, field day where MSU researchers will demonstrate optimal plants for season-long support of crop pollinators and biocontrol agents.

Pollinators and natural enemies require access to pollen and nectar to provide nutrition and energy to fuel their pollination and pest control activities. However, these resources can be lacking in highly managed crop or urban landscapes. Michigan State University entomologists have been working with native plant producers and beekeepers to identify the best plants to provide season-long resources for beneficial insects. They recently tested over 55 species of plants at three locations in Michigan to determine which ones were most attractive to helpful insects and will be sharing their results at the Supporting Beneficial Insects with Flowering Plants field day on Aug. 2, 2016, at the Clarksville Research Center, 9302 Portland Rd, Clarksville, MI 48815. Participants will learn to identify attractive plants and many of the beneficial pollinators, predators and parasitoids that utilize them.

The field day will include opportunities to interact with native plant producers and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff to learn more about how to establish these plants in a variety of agricultural and home landscape settings. Three hours of pesticide recertification credits and four hours of Extension Master Gardener continuing education credits are available for participating in this workshop. Participants will also receive four MSU Exten­sion publications including two popular, pocket-sized field guides, “Bees of the Great Lakes region and wildflowers to support them” and “Identifying natural enemies in crops and landscapes.

Registration is open until July 23 with a fee of $20 to cover lunch and materials. Register at: Supporting Beneficial Insects with Flowering Plants Workshop. Speakers and schedule are posted there.

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