Wildlife Botanical Gardens Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

Art in the Garden
Sunday, July 12, 2015
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NatureScaping of SW WA and the Clark County Chapter of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon are hosting the 3rd Art in the Garden Event in the Wildlife Botanical Gardens.

Spread the word to your friends, family and co-workers to come out on July 12th to tour our beautiful gardens, hear live music, watch a spinning wheel demonstration and experience the art of 18 local artisans.

Clark County Master Composter/Recyclers are hosting their event the same day in their Compost Demonstration Site.

Butterflies
Written by Ruth Phillips, Board Member and Retired WSU Professor

Butterflies are not only beautiful but also important as they pollinate plants, are an important link in the food chain, as well as indicators of environmental quality for humans. Creating your own Butterfly Garden is an important act in stopping the decline of these wonderful creatures. Butterflies need host plants to lay their eggs and nectar plants for the adult butterflies to feed.

Most adult butterflies will nectar on a variety of plants, but often the females will only lay eggs on a few host plants.
We have three types of Swallowtails in SW Washington (our largest butterfly):

The Western Tiger Swallowtail lays eggs on alder, ash, aspen, poplar, cottonwood and willow.

The Anise Tiger Swallowtail lays eggs on carrot, parsley, dill, and fennel.

The Pale Swallowtail lays eggs on Ceanothus and Ocean Spray (both are native plants).

For information on these and other butterflies of Western WA, read: Butterflies of Cascadia: A Field Guide to All the Species of Washington, Oregon, and Surrounding Territories by Robert Michael Pyle.

What are Neonicotinoids and Why are People Concerned about Them?
Written by Barb Rider, Master Composter/Recycler & NatureScaping Coordinator

Neonicotinoids are a “broad spectrum” insecticide, which means they do not target a particular species of insects; they are systemic, which means they are absorbed and distributed throughout the tissues of plants treated with them. Treated plants can retain toxic residue anywhere from one day to more than a year depending upon application method and neonicotinoid type.

Neonicotinoids have become a topic of discussion recently because of a) honey bee “die offs” after application of neonicotinoids (Willsonville, OR Target parking lot) [1] , b) some studies which have linked honey bee “colony collapse disorder” with the use of neonicotinoids [1],[2],[3], c) observed reduction of bird populations after insect population reduction from neonicotinoid use [2], and d) the banning of use of neonicotinoids from some European countries [4].

Based on these concerns, there have been calls to completely stop the sale of neonicotinoids (to the public) and also calls for companies that sell flower, shrubs and trees to stop using neonicotinoids on the plants, as well, in the U.S.A. [5] Some groups, such as the “Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation” have conducted their own reviews of past studies on neonicotinoids, as well [3]. Dr. Dave Smitley, PhD Entomology at Michigan State University, has created a slide show that reviews the history of neonicotinoids, including public outcry and studies [1].

What should be done? Options range widely, as do opinions. At one end of the spectrum, is the request to immediately stop the sale of all neonicotinoids. There are also calls to ramp up studies to more accurately evaluate the effects of the insecticide upon honey bees (and other insects) in hopes that proper and minimal application rates could be discovered to reduce negative impacts but still help reduce insect predation upon crops.

Perhaps the best approach we can each take is a multi-pronged approach: a) continue to educate ourselves on insecticides effects, b) reduce or even halt our own use of insecticides, c) grow more native plants that have a natural immunity to many pests, d) buy plants that are not pre-treated with neonicotinoids and e) encourage a wider range of insects in our gardens to help control the “bad” insects through the balance of having natural predators present – other insects, birds, bats and other creatures. For commercial products currently sold in stores that contain neonicotinoids, see pg. 5 of the Xerces publication “Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?” [3]

References and for further reading:
1. http://agbioresearch.msu.edu/uploads/396/52694/NeonicsandBees11-21-14.pdf pg. 4 of slide. (Re-directed from http://www.ent.msu.edu/directory/david_smitley)
2.http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13531.html
3. http://ento.psu.edu/publications/are-neonicotinoids-killing-bees
4. http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/neonicotinoid-pesticides-are-a-huge
5. https://www.organicconsumers.org/search/site/neonicotinoids

Watch for our upcoming pollinator classes in July and August via your email and on our website: www.naturescaping.org.

Contact NatureScaping of SW WA at: (360) 737.1160, info@naturescaping.org or P.O. Box 763, Brush Prairie, WA 98606
NatureScaping of SW WA is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization.