Vermont Fish & Wildlife: Pollinators in Peril

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Vermont's pollinators remain in peril and with so many wild plants and commercial food products dependent on bees and other insects, the time to act is now.
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Many of Vermont's pollinator species are in peril, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department would like to share a few simple suggestions to greatly benefit our essential pollinator species.
 
"The majority of our flowering plants need pollinators in order to produce seeds," said Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department zoologist Mark Ferguson. "Vermont is home to hundreds of species of pollinators from bees to butterflies to beetles and other bugs that play a vital role in pollinating our flowers, trees and food crops. These insects are responsible for pollinating 60 to 80 percent of Vermont's wild plants and play a critical role in the propagation of fruits and vegetables in gardens, wild berry patches, commercial berry farms, and apple orchards." 
 
But many pollinator species in Vermont are in trouble. Habitat loss, invasive species, single-crop farming, disease, and pesticides are a few of the threats affecting populations of these insects across our state. Vermont's native bees, including more than 300 unique species and three that are threatened or endangered, are among our pollinators being impacted the most. 
 
A recent examination of our 17 different bumble bees compared recent observations with historical collections and concluded that several species have drastically declined or disappeared from Vermont, including the rusty-patched bumble bee. 
 
To better understand not only the number and diversity of our native bee species, but also their distribution and population trends, the department and partners are conducting a three-year study of Vermont bees. Vermont Fish and Wildlife is working closely with the Vermont Center for Ecological Studies and is inviting any members of the public interested in contributing to this data collection to send their bee observations to iNaturalist.
 
Vermonters can also help conserve our native bees and other pollinators with a few simple household considerations:
  • Provide a variety of vibrant flowers and native plants to attract pollinators to your yard and garden.
  • Learn to live with wildflowers and weeds growing in your yard and fields. Pollinators prefer a variety in their habitat, even if it looks untidy to humans.
  • Keep an eye out for bare patches of lawn where ground-nesting bees may make their home.
  • Use pesticide alternatives such as pollinator-friendly barriers to keep unwanted pests off your plants.
  • Avoid using insecticides (especially those that contain neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin).
  • Reduce the amount of property that is mowed, mow less often, and consider leaving fields un-mowed until October when most pollinators have finished their pollinating activities.
  • Meadows that are narrow in shape or less than 10 acres in size are not suitable to provide habitat for grassland birds, but they can be extremely valuable pollinator habitat. Consider leaving these small fields, and also large fields managed as grassland bird nesting habitat that are not needed for hay harvest in August or September, un-mowed until October when most pollinators have finished their pollinating activities.
You can also ensure the viability of Vermont's pollinators by contributing to Vermont Fish and Wildlife's habitat conservation projects though the Vermont Habitat Stamp program.
 
To learn more about Vermont's pollinators and additional ways to help, visit the website here or contact Mark.Ferguson@vermont.gov.

Tags: bees,   pollinator-friendly,   wildlife,   

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Medical Matters Weekly Welcomes Alya Reeve

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s (SVHC) Medical Matters Weekly with Dr. Trey Dobson—a weekly interactive, multiplatform medical-themed talk show—will feature Alya Reeve, MD, MPH, the medical director of Untied Counseling Service in Bennington, on its August 4 program.

The show is produced with cooperation from Catamount Access Television (CAT-TV). Viewers can see Medical Matters Weekly on Facebook at facebook.com/svmedicalcenter and facebook.com/CATTVBennington. The show is also available to view or download a podcast on www.svhealthcare.org/medicalmatters.

Dr. Reeve is responsible for overseeing clinical psychiatric services and providing guidance to clinical staff. She assures that agency patients receive appropriate evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, medical screening, and medical or psychiatric evaluation. In addition, she serves as the liaison for UCS with community physicians, hospital staff, and other professionals and agencies associated with psychiatric services.

Dr. Reeve has served in multiple professional and academic roles at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Pediatrics. Dr. Reeve earned her medical degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, with residencies in psychiatry at the Dartmouth School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She also spent time as the registrar in the Epilepsy Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley Hospital in London, UK. Dr. Reeve was a fellow in the clinical brain disorders branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, D.C. She earned her master’s in public health at the University of New Mexico and a bachelor’s degree in French and Zoology from Connecticut College.

After the program, the video will be available on area public access television stations. On CAT-TV, viewers will find the show on channel 1075 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 1:30 p.m. Monday, 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 a.m. Friday, and 7 p.m. Saturday. GNAT-TV's Comcast channel 1074 airs the program at 8 a.m. Monday, 9 p.m. Wednesday, and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Upcoming guests include:

  • 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 11: Art Groux, executive director of the Bennington Rescue Squad, will discuss the Rescue Squad and its work in our community.
  • 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 18: Patricia Johnson, RN, and Caitlin Tilley, RN, of SVMC, will discuss their efforts to make vaccines available to the BIPOC community in Bennington and the surrounding area.
  • 12 p.m. Wednesday, August 25: Tim VanOrden, athlete and coach, will share his ideas for increasing activity and health in your life.
  • 12 p.m. Wednesday, September 1: Cath Burns of Vermont Care Partners, will discuss COVID Support Programs.

To contribute questions in advance of each week’s show, please e-mail wellness@svhealthcare.org or post to Facebook with #SVHCMedicalMattersWeekly.

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