Beach permit change in Brigantine: The state Division of Parks & Forestry will hold a public meeting on changes to permitting for access to the North Brigantine Natural Area from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27 at in Brigantine North Middle School’s auditorium, 301 E. Evans Blvd.

The state Department of Environmental Protection took over issuing mobile fishing permits for the state-owned land this year. The city’s permit previously was valid there.

State permits cost $50 for state residents, $75 for nonresidents. Call Bass River State Forest at 609-296-1114 or visit njparksandforests.org.

Wild bees studied: Wild bees are important to pollinate crops, and on larger parcels more species of bees are needed, according to a Rutgers University study in this month’s journal Science.

Scientists estimate wild pollinators — mostly bees, flies and other insects — provide as much as half the crop pollination worldwide.

Honeybees are not native but were brought to the U.S. by colonists. Their numbers are falling, studies have found.

More than 100 species of mostly native bees pollinated crops on 48 farms studied in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over several years, researchers reported. More than half were needed for pollination at one or more farms in one or more years, they said.

“Our results confirm the importance of biodiversity in keeping the planet habitable for human beings,” said lead author Rachael Winfree, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick ecologist.

Winfree has suggested farmers plant fallow fields and road edges with flowering plants to support wild bees. She has also recommended reduced pesticide use and avoiding spraying during crop bloom when pollinators are present.

The study included researchers from Rutgers, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Spain, the University of Minnesota, the University of California-Davis, and the University of Manitoba.

— Michelle Brunetti Post

Free butterfly webinar

Monarch Joint Venture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center are offering a free 2018 webinar series on monarch butterfly conservation.

Webinars will be at 2 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month, starting Feb. 27 and ending Nov. 27.

The first topic is an overview of monarch conservation, presented by Wendy Caldwell, venture coordinator.

Numbers of the orange and black butterflies, which migrate thousands of miles south in the fall, have declined an estimated 90 percent nationally in about 30 years.

Other topics to be covered later are engaging the agricultural community, understanding the Endangered Species Act, milkweed seed collection, meadow establishment, monarch predators and disease, and fifth-generation monarchs.

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Contact: 609-272-7219

mpost@pressofac.com

Twitter @MichelleBPost

Facebook.com/EnvironmentSouthJersey

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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