The Birds and the Bees

By MDC | January 22, 2020
From Missouri Conservationist: February 2020

With all due respect to Presidents’ Day, there’s only one February holiday that really creates a buzz — Valentine’s Day.

Although the landscape can be bleak, this time of year and winter’s presence chillingly obvious, the Missouri Conservationist, like many of you this time of year, is turning its attention to the birds and the bees. In our case, birds and bees isn’t a euphemism for romance, but actual affection for the birds and bees that not only bring us enjoyment to watch, but also play a key role in the food we eat.

Much has been  made of the effect that colony collapse has had on nonnative honeybees — and the important work honeybees do in pollinating many of our food crops — but less attention has been paid to the work of Missouri’s more than 450 speciesof native bees. In A City Abuzz, we look at these species, interesting new research, and what you can do in your backyard to help.

Spring signals the return of many migratory species to our bird feeders, but few bring the level of excitement that accompany the arrival of the ruby-throated hummingbird. In Hosting Hummingbirds we highlight the success of one Missouri resident in attracting hummingbirds, and steps you can take to increase the number of hummingbirds outside your window.

While it’s still another month or more before we start seeing the first signs of many of our pollinators — like Missouri’s native bees — and return of our Neotropical migratory birds — like the ruby-throated hummingbird — it’s not too early to remind ourselves of the importance of these creatures and begin preparing for their return.

Also In This Issue

Research finds an oasis of bees in St. Louis lawns, gardens.
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Helpful hints for attracting one of Missouri’s favorite migrants.

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Heather Feeler
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Art Director - Cliff White

Designer - Les Fortenberry
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler