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By: Hannah Burgener 

The Butterfly Garden next to the CSA Building is habitat to many pollinators. Pollinators in Northern Michigan include species of birds, bats, native bees, butterflies, beetles, and some wasps. These pollinators are vital for our ecosystem, food supply, and natural resources by helping plants reproduce. This garden at the CSA acts as a certified Monarch Butterfly ‘Waystation’, as well as supporting many other species of pollinator insects.

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On July 31st, the Butterfly Garden was monitored from approximately 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and the following pollinator species were observed. The weather this day was 76° F and sunny with low winds.

❖ Monarch Butterfly
❖ Common Eastern Bumble Bee
❖ Sweat Bee
❖ Mining Bee
❖ Honey Bee
❖ Great Golden Digger Wasp
❖ Cabbage White Butterfly
❖ Black Swallowtail Butterfly

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Over 100 Common Eastern Bumble Bees visited the Hypericum shrub within the hour, but also appeared on the Orange Coneflowers and the Harebell flowers. A Monarch butterfly was seen on the Butterfly Weed and three Cabbage White Butterflies enjoyed the pale purple Coneflowers. Three Great Golden Digger Wasps were observed fighting and landing on the Butterfly Weed, as well as the Whorled Milkweed. Only two small Sweat Bees were seen, and they were only on the Coreopsis. A Black Swallowtail Butterfly was noticed, but it did not land on any particular plant within the garden. It should be noted that the Black Swallowtail prefers plants within the carrot family, such as dill.

On August 1st, the weather was 76° F, mostly sunny with winds slightly higher at 11mph. Pollinator species on this day were monitored for approximately thirty minutes from 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and the following species were observed.

❖ Long Horned Bee
❖ Monarch Butterfly
❖ Eastern Bumble bee
❖ European Paper Wasp
❖ Great Golden Digger Wasp
❖ Cabbage White Butterfly
❖ Small Sweat Bees
❖ Hoverfly

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On this day the Eastern Bumble Bee seemed to enjoy the Hypericum Shrub as much as it did the previous day; however, there appeared to be fewer of them, perhaps due to an increase in wind that day. A few Eastern Bumble Bees were spotted on the Culver's Root plant as well. Interestingly, there was a higher presence of wasp species, such as the European Paper Wasp and Great Golden Digger Wasp. It should be noted that European Paper Wasps are considered an invasive species throughout North America. Multiple Cabbage White Butterflies were seen in the garden and appeared to be most attracted to an invasive species called Hoary Alyssum growing as a weed near Cone flowers. The Hoary Alyssum was later removed from the Butterfly Garden. On the North end of the Butterfly Garden a species of Hoverfly was discovered on an Orange Coneflower. Two Monarch Butterflies were on the tall Marsh Milkweed, one of four different Milkweeds in the CSA Butterfly Garden.