By Jeff Skevington, foreword by Natalie Sopinka
Whether it’s beetles, butterflies or bees, “bugs” are in the news. Invasive southern pine beetles are wreaking havoc on New Jersey’s pine trees, as the world warms butterflies are emerging earlier, and a parasitic fly may be changing honey bees into “zombees.”
In local news, on September 7 this year, the Entomological Society of Ontario (ESO) hosted Ottawa’s first Bug Day. It was funded by a public encouragement grant from the Entomological Society of Canada and sponsored by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, who hosted the event at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden.
You can listen to highlights of the event on CBC Radio. OFNC’s chair of Excursions and Lectures, Jeff Skevington, summarizes the day below:
“Today was the first ESO/OFNC Bug Day. Thanks to Sophie Cardinal for organizing it all and to our many members and other volunteers who came out to help. I think it was an unparalleled success. We had hundreds of participants (my guess is slightly over 1000, but it was hard to track numbers).
“All of the volunteer leaders came with fabulous stuff – everything from Giant Swallowtails and Tomato Hornworm larvae to huge scarab larvae to hissing cockroaches and a whip scorpion.
“Andy Bennett did a brilliant job with the cockroach races with his home made Duplo race track. We had a tank of aquatic insects, ran at least 15 public hikes, had a biological control display, face painting, a butterfly exhibit, a craft table. The building was bursting at the seams to thankfully the rain held off and we were able to do a lot of it outdoors.
“All in all, it was fabulous exposure for the ESO and the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club. Thanks in particular to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden (FWG) group who allowed us to use (and slightly trample) their fabulous gardens. Hopefully we can do it again next year.”