• Help VCE Document Pollinators on Plants!

    Tricolored Bumble Bee (Bombus ternarius) on a Goldenrod Flower (Solidago)

    Community-collected Science

    This summer, we’re launching a new project studying plant-insect interactions across New England. We’re calling it the Pollinator Interactions on Plants project, or ‘PIP’ for short. All you need is a camera (or your phone) and the enthusiasm to document insects visiting flowers in your daily travels or in your yard.

    By submitting photos of interactions, your data will help us answer valuable questions such as:

    1. How do plant-pollinator networks vary across space and time?
    2. What plant traits predict pollinator use?
    3. Can we rank species by their ability to attract and support specialized pollinators?

    Pollinators can be any flower-visiting animal. We are especially interested in collecting data on Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera), Bees and Wasps (Hymenoptera), Flower Flies (Diptera – Syrphidae), and even birds (like Hummingbirds) that nectar from flowers too. If you see wildlife interacting with a flower, document it!

    Once you have a photo post it to iNaturalist and add it to our iNaturalist Project page. Make sure you record the plant the insect is using with the observation field ‘Interaction->Visited flower of’. If you don’t know the plant, you can post the flower as a 2nd iNaturalist observation and link the two observations using the field ‘Reference URL‘.

    Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) on a Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

    Field Studies — Summer 2023

    At a subset of managed green spaces in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, we’ll be putting up signs to encourage trail visitors to document species interactions, and visiting to conduct our own systematic surveys and collect samples. Our goal is to assess pollinator communities in different garden types and compare different methods for constructing plant-insect interactions networks. If you’re looking for a new place to visit and would like to help us collect data for this project, consider visiting one of these sites below! Click the link next to the site name for the location of our focal site (Coming soon).

    Current Sites

    Natural Trails

    1. VINS – Meadow Trail
    2. Montshire Museum – Meadow Walk
    3. Summarsell Gateway Preserve
    4. Chaffee Wildlife Sanctuary

    Agricultural Gardens

    1. White River Junction Food Forest
    2. Quechee Community Garden
    3. Hartland Community Garden
    4. Stratford Edible Pocket Park
    5. Cedar Circle Farm
    6. Canillas Community Garden

    Ornamental Gardens

    1. Justin Morrill Homestead
    2. Lake Moray Resort
    3. MRG Pollinator Gardens