The Buzz on Buffers: Talking Pollinators with Jason Mazurowski

Jason Mazurowski (University of Vermont)
Wilke's mining bee, photo by Heather Holm
November 24, 2021

View or download a copy of the episode transcript here.

By Liz Woodhull

In this episode of Restoration Roundup, we are joined by ecologist and naturalist Jason Mazurowski to discuss how practitioners and farmers can best support pollinators, particularly in riparian forests. Jason specializes in native pollinator conservation, and is currently working with the Gund Institute for Environment and Audubon Vermont on multiple field projects; he also serves as an adjunct instructor at UVM teaching courses on field ecology and native pollinators. 

New England has at least a few of all of the “super seven” pollinator species. Bees are the most effective and are responsible for 70-80% of pollinating services, and Vermont has more than 300 species of native bees. 

Pollinators are indispensable to ecosystems for the proper reproduction of plants, and for the provision of other ecosystem services. Many pollinator species are in decline, but some are actually increasing, and little is known about the status of many others. Use of chemicals can harm pollinators, or cause ‘pollinator traps’ where pollinators are attracted to good habitat but then get “trapped” by harmful pesticides like neonicotinoids. Climate change can exacerbate negative impacts on bee populations, jeopardizing pollinator-dependent crops. This spells trouble for farmers as pollinators, especially bees, provide an important economic service. 

Certain farming practices, however, can support pollinators in your area. Restoring riparian forests with an eye to maximizing plant species diversity, for example, can provide a range of nesting and feeding resources for pollinators.  Riparian forested areas can be part of the solution to declining pollinator populations, so join us on our third episode as we discuss how riparian buffers can support pollinators, alternatives to herbicides and practices to avoid, what kind of habitat and plant species are needed to best support pollinators, and much more!

Check out the Xerces Society for more information on pollinators and how you can help. If you’re interested in restoring riparian forests on your land, you can find technical assistance through your local NRCS office.

This episode featured the call of the belted kingfisher. The sound was recorded by Martin St. Michel on May 25, 2014 in the Riviere Missisquoi in Quebec. We downloaded the song from

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC00A00695-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Image (a Wilke's Mining Bee, Andrena wilkella) by Heather Holm, from

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