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Bug Banter Podcast Episodes

Saving the Bees: Why Honey Bees Are Not the Answer

44 MinutesGuests: Rich Hatfield

No bee is as popular as the honey bee. When we think of a bee, many of us think of this charismatic social bee that lives in large colonies, does the wiggle dance, produces the honey we love, and pollinates many of our crops. Although honey bees can be found all over North America, they only arrived in the seventeenth century by way of European settlers. Aside from honey bees, in North America, thousands of native bees can be found on the landscape. We’ve all heard that bees are in decline. As a non-native species, are honey bees the answer to helping us “save the bees”? How do honey bees interact with our native bees on the landscape? 

A Monarch's Life: Migration, Survival, and Barfing Blue Jays

40 MinutesGuests: Ray Moranz

We've recently talked about western monarch populations and community science. Today, we are going to talk about monarchs east of the Rockies. From their overwintering sites to their multi-generational migration, and the stops along the way, we will take a deeper look at the journey of the monarch.

When a Bee is Considered a Fish: The Definitions and Complexities of Endangered Species

33 MinutesGuests: Sarina Jepsen

The word “endangered” is widely used when talking about rare animals in news reports, conservation campaigns, TV documentaries, and more. Sometimes being endangered is seen as a benefit, other times as a bad thing — but what does it mean? As with so many things, what lies behind the word “endangered” is more complicated than what meets the eye, and the word is not always used consistently, which can lead to confusion. Are honey bees endangered? No, there are millions of hives. Is the rusty patched bumble bee endangered? Yes, it is protected under the Endangered Species Act. What about the monarch butterfly? Probably, but not officially — and if they are protected, they may be classified as “threatened” — and is that at the federal or state level (or maybe internationally)? Are you confused yet? 

Potato Chips, Leaves, or Butterflies? The Art and Importance of Counting Western Monarchs

39 MinutesGuests: Isis Howard

There are not many insects as well-known, and as well-loved, as the monarch butterfly. Monarchs are characterized by their beautiful bright colors and their awe-inspiring migration. Unfortunately, monarch populations have been in decline for many years — but have you ever wondered how we know that? Tracking and estimating the population of any animal is tricky, even big ones like bears and eagles. How do you do it for an insect that moves across North America? 

Vanishing Wings: A Call to Action

41 MinutesGuests: Scott Black

Insects — who needs 'em? We do! We’ve all heard that insects are in decline. From bumble bees to monarch butterflies to fireflies, people are noticing fewer insects on the landscape. Should we be alarmed that invertebrates are disappearing from our planet? The answer is yes, and while this is the start of a grim tale, there is hope. In understanding the impact and cause of decline, collectively, we can change the outcome of the story. But we need your help.

Nesting in Darkness: Solitary Ground Nesting Bees

43 MinutesGuests: Leif Richardson

Have you heard of solitary ground-nesting bees? Yes? No? Either way, this podcast is for you! Unlike honey bees or bumble bees that live in colonies, solitary bees do it alone and interestingly, most of them nest underground. Although they are common, widespread, and almost certainly living in your neighborhood and at times literally under your feet, most people know very little about them.

Xerces - What?

9 Minutes

The word Xerces often confuses people. What does it mean and where does the name Xerces come from? Join us on this short podcast to introduce the organization that works to save insects and other invertebrates: the Xerces Society.