182: Matthew Shepherd on Planting to Feed Bees.
Expanding the habitat of an essential pollinator through our garden choices.
Matthew’s career began in England where he established a successful community-based conservation program in Essex and helped to create Samfire Hoe, an award-winning nature park. He has also worked with local communities and government agencies in Kenya to improve the management of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, on the coast north of Mombasa. He has created and maintained gardens that provide for insects and other wildlife everywhere he has lived, a passion that began when he learned gardening at his mother’s side.
Matthew’s introduction to pollinator conservation actually came two decades ago, on a sunny hillside in southern England, while working on a project to protect disappearing grasslands. He was manually using an artist’s paintbrush to transfer pollen between endangered orchids and realized there was obviously something missing in that ecosystem. Five years later, after marrying an American and moving to Oregon, Matthew was working for the Xerces Society at the vanguard of a new effort to protect pollinators.
In the past 15 years, he has collaborated with people from all walks of life to promote awareness about, and protection of, pollinator insects, especially native bees. Matthew is author of numerous articles and other publications, including Attracting Native Pollinators and Gardening for Butterflies. He is now the Society’s Communications Director, reducing the amount of time spent with pollinators, but increasing the time supporting the many other aspects of Xerces conservation work.
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg chats with Matthew Shepherd of the Xerces Society to learn more about their latest book titled 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, as well as some of the projects the Society has been working on. Matthew’s story of how he got to work for the Xerces Society is a little world tour and then he helps explain more about different bees and what they need.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/feedthebees for more information, photos and links on this podcast and to find links to our other great guests.