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Pollinators

All Pollinators Content

Harvested cornfield in winter.

Crops

During the growing season, SDSU Extension provides weekly production recommendations.

Orange beetle with black markings on an orange flower

Orange Beetles Are Killing My Flowers, or Are They?

Many gardens are being invaded by orange beetles that have a strong preference for flowering plants. Rest assured, these are soldier beetles and they aren’t feeding on the flowers! Instead, they are actually predators and pollinators.

Green bee on yellow flower.

Bees and Other Pollinators Visiting Sunflower

While insecticides are often necessary to reduce pest populations and prevent yield loss in sunflower, it is important to consider the impact they may have on beneficial insects, like bees and other native pollinators.

A bee pollinating a flower.

Pollinators Party

In this lesson, participants will learn how plants reproduce and how to identify pollinators that help plants.

A large wasp on a pink flower.

Giant Wasps Are Invading My Yard! No, They Still Aren’t Murder Hornets.

Every year we receive multiple reports of giant wasps that seem to invade yards and gardens. These wasps aren’t the same as the so-called "murder hornets," but are actually cicada killer wasps.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

Two insects. The left is a wasp with a dark head, reddish brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a black and yellow banded abdomen. The right is a hornet with a yellow head, dark brown thorax (the segment behind the head), and a brown and yellow banded abdomen.

No, It’s Not a Murder Hornet.

By now, you’ve probably read headlines about the Asian giant hornets (aka “murder hornets”) that were spotted in Washington state and across the border in Canada. It is important to note that Asian giant hornets have only been confirmed in a small area of Washington and Canada. These wasps have not been observed in South Dakota or our neighboring states.

Two adult wasps side-by-side. The left is black and yellow and is resting on a green leaf. The right is black, yellow and burnt orange in color and is resting on a piece of wood.

Wasp Activity Is Ramping Up

With their distinctive black and yellow stripes and tendency to hang out in groups, wasps receive attention no matter the time of year. As the weather warms up and spring progresses, you may notice more wasp activity in your yard or around your house.

Tomatoes growing in a high tunnel. Courtesy: USDA

Pollinating Tomatoes in High Tunnels

In field-grown tomatoes the air movement is sufficient to vibrate flowers and achieve pollination. This is not generally true in the high tunnel because there is not sufficient natural wind to vibrate the flowers. High tunnel tomato growers should therefore pollinate their crop by other means.