Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Invasives Alert: Nymphoides cristata Spotted in Mississippi

Invasive Species Alert: Crested floating heart, Nymphoides cristata has been spotted in Mississippi. If you see this invasive aquatic plant please report it to EDDMapS. For images and more information on Nymphoides cristata.

Counties Battle Invasion of Non-native Cogongrass

MISSISSIPPI STATE – State officials are asking for the public’s help in stopping the spread of cogongrass, one of the world’s worst weeds, which has invaded 62 of Mississippi’s 82 counties. Read the full article at eXtension.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

National Pollinator Week: June 20 - 26

Pollinator Week is an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and other wildlife. Animals which help with pollination are vital to our delicate ecosystem. They help to support terrestrial wildlife, provide healthy watersheds, and more. Pollinator Week is a time set aside to spread the message of the importance of pollinators out to as many people as possible. Following are several websites where you can find more information on pollinators and what is happening in your state.
North American Pollinator Partnership Events for each state.
Heart of Georgia Beekeepers Includes events in Georgia for this week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Early Detection & Rapid Response and EDDMapS in Alaska

Purple Loosestrife,
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org

Report These Invaders! The species to watch for are: Purple Loosestrife, Spotted Knapweed, Smooth Cordgrass, Leafy Spurge and Giant Hogweed.  For information on how to identify the plants.

Russian Knapweed
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

If you encounter these invaders, please report them, noting the location of the invasive species. Take photos if possible and send them via the reporting form.

Smooth Cordgrass
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California - Davis, Bugwood.org

Avoid travelling through infested areas when you find them. It is extremely easy to carry seeds on shoes, clothing, animals, gear and equipment.

                                  Leafy Spurge                                         
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org

Clean all potential seed transmission vectors after leaving an infested area as soon as possible.

Giant Hogweed
 Terry English, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Early Detection and Rapid Response is the most effective way to mitigate the invasive species threat in Alaska. Go to EDDMaps.org to report an infestation.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Africanized Honeybees Found & Destroyed in Bainbridge, Georgia

PRESS RELEASE from the Georgia Department of Agriculture:Entomological tests have confirmed that a suspect feral colony of honeybees found and destroyed in Bainbridge in May was the Africanized honeybee strain.
“This is the second feral colony of Africanized honeybees in Georgia,” said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. The bees have been in Texas since 1990 and have spread to numerous other states. There has been an established breeding population in Florida since 2005.
Traps have been put in place to see if there are other Africanized bees in the area. Local beekeepers and local emergency personnel are being notified. No other Africanized bees have been found.
“Beekeepers are our first and best line of defense against these invaders. Our beekeepers are the ones who will be able to monitor and detect any changes in bee activity,” said Commissioner Black.
Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
“Honeybees are a valuable ally for farmers and are necessary to pollinate many of our crops. It is estimated that one-third of our diet relies on honeybee pollination,” said Commissioner Black. “People can coexist with the Africanized honeybee by learning about the bee and its habits, supporting beekeeping efforts and taking a few precautions,” he added. Tips for dealing with Africanized honeybees may be found on the Georgia Department of Agriculture website (www.agr.georgia.gov).
Africanized honeybees are a hybrid of African and European honeybees. They are extremely defensive of their nest (also referred to as a colony or hive) and for this reason are sometimes called “killer bees.” Large numbers of them sometimes sting people or livestock with little provocation.
Because Africanized honeybees look almost identical to European honeybees, the bees from the Bainbridge colony had to be tested to accurately ascertain they were the Africanized strain. The Georgia Department of Agriculture sent samples of the bees to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which has the capability to do FABIS (fast African bee identification system) testing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture identification test (the complete morphometrics test) to confirm the bees’ identity.
Africanized honeybees are the result of an experiment that went awry in Brazil in the 1950s. Researchers were trying to create a honeybee better suited to tropic conditions. A few of the African bees escaped and began hybridizing with European honeybees. The hybrid “Africanized” honeybees (so named because they get their extremely defensive nature from the African honeybee) began colonizing South America and Central America, then Mexico and the U.S.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Update on Florida Teachers at Invasive Plant Camp

The University of Florida's IFAS program is holding Invasive Plant Camp for 24 educators. The teachers come from elementary, middle and high schools throughout Florida to learn about Invasive Species in Florida. To see the story on WCJB-TV 20.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Teachers to Learn About Non-native and Invasive Plants

Next week I am on my way to Gainesville, Florida where the University of Florida is conducting an Invasive Plant Camp just for teachers. I will be teaching how to collect and enter data on invasive species into the EDDMapS database. This is the second year for me to attend and help out with this special workshop and this year there is something new to show them. Mobile EDDMapS now allows you to collect and upload data right from your smartphone. The course is a week long and covers terrestrial and aquatic plant species. Only 24 teachers get to attend each year. The teachers love it and go back to their classrooms loaded down with educational materials to help them teach this important subject to their students. PLANT CAMP 2011 is hosted by the Florida Invasive Plant Education Initiative, UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and made possible by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/Invasive Plant Management Section. This is an event which I would love to see in Georgia and every state across America.

Tools and Techniques for Mapping, Managing and Mending Invaded Lands

The Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council is pleased to announce it's Sixth Invasive Plant Conference:"Tools and Techniques for Mapping, Managing and Mending Invaded Lands" held on August 3-4, 2011 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Topics include:
  • early detection and prevention
  • invasive species mapping,monitoring and control
  • restoration; cooperative weed managment partnerships
  • field demonstrations of GPS technologies, mechanical and chemical control techniques, herbicide selection, mixing and sprayer calibration and personal protective equipment
  • history, spread and control of wavyleaf basketgrass
Pesticide re-certification credits will be available. For more information.
Conference Registration. Registration is available online through the Morris Arboretum website.