DETROIT HIVES TURNS VACANT LOTS INTO URBAN APIARIES

In our summer issue we explore how biodiversity and human diversity enrich our planet. Read our 24 page preview

DIVERSE VOICES

Our guest editorial by Melanie Kirby discusses what it’s like to be a POC in agriculture and bee science. We interview the founders of Detroit Hives, which works to turn vacant lots into an urban oasis of green that is open to the community for education. We’ve made the entire front section, plus an article on tagging monarchs and certifying pollinator gardens available as a free download. Let us know what you think.

MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS

At 2 Million Blossoms we value diversity and commit to helping black and minority owned businesses reach a wider audience. We offer a free 1/3 page ad to any minority owned businesses involved in agriculture, gardening or sustainability, though the ad must meet our magazine design standards. Please contact us for details. We look forward to working with you.

Hover flies are excellent pollinators, often carrying pollen great distances

DRONE FLIES GALORE

In her column “What’s Bugging” Rusty Burlew introduces us to Eristalis tenax. “I’m convinced that the common drone fly, Eristalis tenax, is the most photographed “bee” in the world. You need not search long to find hundreds of drone flies labeled as honey bees in books, magazines, websites, and advertisements.”

Rusty’s article kicks off a special section dedicated to hover flies, which are wonderful generalist pollinators.

MINORITY OWNED BUSINESS

In 2011, playgrounds in the Canadian city of Gatineau were evacuated due to clouds of wasp-like creatures. Further inspection revealed they were harmless hover flies, which do not bite or sting.

Some hover fly species swarm in staggering numbers. Millions of individuals dot the sky, reminiscent of a Hitchcock plot. Swarms happen for all sorts of reasons: breeding, feeding, migration. Hover flies, when observed in large numbers, are typically on the move.

HISTORY OF MONARCH TAGS

In two articles, gardener and butterfly specialist Monika Maeckle walks readers through the fascinating search for a light, durable tag to mark millions of monarchs. Her fascination with these charismatic butterflies began when she was invited to a tagging party: “Each autumn under the pecan trees that line the seasonal Sabinal River, Jenny and Matt Singleton host an annual monarch butterfly tagging event.”

HOW TO TAG A MONARCH

After introducing us to the long history of butterfly tagging, which has been done by dedicated enthusiasts since 1952, Maeckle guides readers through the simple, six stages of butterfly tagging, which involves locating the monarch butterflies, netting, collecting, establishing its sex, tagging and releasing the bright orange and black beauty. “Open your grasp and let the butterfly go. If you’re so inclined, send her off with a kiss and best wishes for a buen viaje a Mexico.”

0