Meeting an Endangered Pollinator (and her friends)
On Saturday, August 20, a small crowd gathered in the CSA prairie for the "Meet the Pollinators" event to hear from Jay Watson, a Wisconsin DNR Conservation Biologist. The event was coordinated by Glacial Lakes Conservancy as part of Wisconsin's Land Trust Days.
During their event, the group enjoyed learning about many beautiful pollinators and plants, including the starting off the day with a sighting of one beautiful endangered female Rusty Patched Bumble Bee. The Rusty Patched Bumble Bee is listed as Federally Endangered and State Special Concern, is extremely rare in Wisconsin, and is considered both state- and globally-imperiled. In total, the group observed at least 8 species of bumble bees- affinis, rufocinctus, griseocollis, fervidus, auricomus, vagans, impatiens, and citrinus.
"This is a new location for Rusty Patch Bumble Bee in state," said Watson. "Having the Ledge provides great nesting area in the woody zones and a wonderful mix of resources throughout all of the seasons in the prairies and wetlands close by." In addition to the female spotted during the event, two males (one pictured above) were also identified earlier the previous week. The closest other area where they are found regularly is Oakfield Ledge State Natural Area, which is more than 20 miles away, indicating that the group seen on CSA property is likely its own nest.
In addition to bumble bees, the group also learned about the values and benefits provided by wasps, hornets, goldenrod solider beetles, moths, fritillaries, and butterflies, and the plants that allow them to thrive and create a healthy ecosystem.
CSA property is privately owned. Our solar site is open for public viewing any day of the week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We request that visitors stop at the main entrance to sign-in or call 920-907-2300 prior to touring the array. Tours of the remaining portions of the CSA conservation easement must be scheduled in advance.