A small, bright beetle in reflective green, orange, and yellow hues on a leaf. A finger and thumb hold the leaf out for the photo.

Prairie Pollination

Prairie Pollination

Get to know your wild neighbours!

Two-thirds of our crop species worldwide depend on wild pollinators to some degree! Those pollinators need more than just crop plants to survive – they need wild plants too.

Staff at the Manitoba Museum have been quietly studying pollinators for over fifteen years. The Museum’s Curator of Botany, Dr. Diana Bizecki Robson notes that “we really don’t know much about how wild plants and pollinators interact with each other or whether their populations are declining. One of the interesting things I’ve discovered during my field work is that pollinators of crop plants like canola and sunflower also need to feed on prairie wildflowers to survive.”

Unfortunately, many of the Manitoba Museum’s plant and insect specimens are difficult to display in regular gallery exhibits and can only been seen during special behind-the-scenes tours or in temporary exhibits. But now thanks to a virtual exhibit you can learn more about these amazing creatures. The exhibit is called Prairie Pollination and can be found at www.PrairiePollination.ca.

Dark butterfly with yellow, orange, and blue spots on it's wings perching on a small fluffy purple flower.

Beautiful photographs of endangered and common prairie plants, and their insect and bird pollinators, are shown in this exhibit. Watercolour illustrations of wild plants from the Museum’s famous Norman Criddle collection, and virtual tours of wild prairies with pollination scientists add depth and context to the specimens. “The great thing about the Prairie Pollination exhibit is that people can find out exactly which plants are attractive to the different kinds of pollinators. This information will be of great use to nature lovers, gardeners, farmers, students and beekeepers” says Dr. Bizecki Robson.

The Manitoba Museum gratefully acknowledges our project sponsors:

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), an initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage, was established in partnership with over 1,300 Canadian Heritage Institutions.