NPW ’21 — UTIA

National Pollinator Week is coming to a close, but it’s important to remember the importance of this event. While small and often inconspicuous, pollinators provide a wonderful service to our environment, economy, and culture. Even if it’s just one week of admiration for these critters, it’s imperative we consider pollinators and appreciate all they do for us as much as we can. Above, you can see a collage created by Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda. Below, you can see Governor Bill Lee’s 2021 proclamation. From here at UT, here are quotes from the Dean of Extension and the Vice President/Chancellor of UTIA:   “National pollinator week is a great time to reflect upon how important pollinators are across our ecosystems. Without them,

NPW ’21 — Pollinator Diversity

      There is great diversity in pollinators in the world but here in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, we have a special place in our hearts for insect pollinators. For several crops (such as sunflowers, blueberries, sweet cherries, and apples), increased bee diversity can result in increased pollination and productivity. Similarly, diversity in floral resources helps supply essential nutrients to pollinators. The UT Gardens in Knoxville will soon be adding signage to indicate some of the pollinators’ favorite plants – please plan a visit to enjoy the plants and the pollinators!

NPW ’21 — Hoverflies

  Hoverflies are incredibly important pollinators. In many ways, they are the underdogs (underflies?) in the pollinating world as many mistake them for bees. They are experts of Batesian mimicry, acting as doppelgangers for wasps and bees in hopes of avoiding predators. Sometimes this mimicry is too uncanny, giving bees undue credit for the wonderful services these little critters provide. It’s quite easy to get the two confused, but as soon as the hoverfly takes flight and begins to “hover” in your face, you know you have the real deal. In addition to pollination, hoverflies also aid in pest management. Many of their larvae are predatory, eating other harmful pests that can damage our crops. They also recycle organic matter

NPW ’21 — Bees of Tennessee

Dr. Laura Russo from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology created this wonderful poster showcasing many of the types of bees found here in Tennessee. Many are very common and can be found even in your own garden! From left to right/top to bottom: Mason bees Leaf cutter bees Small carpenter bees Bumble bees Sweat bees Mining bees Blue-green sweat bees   Let us know if you happen to find any of these bees in your own yard! Take plenty of pictures! Most of these critters are quite friendly and are reluctant to sting you so don’t be afraid. 🙂

BHM Weekly Highlight– Frederick McKinley Jones & Dr. Gladys West

This week, the Diversity and Inclusion committee is introducing two more scientists that have contributed to American culture, specifically technology. We are highlighting Frederick M. Jones and Dr. Gladys West for their impact on technology both domestic and global. Jones’s innovations revolutionized the refrigeration industry and Dr. West’s research was vital to modern technology, from GPS in phones to precision farming.