Kaeser Compressors, Inc. in Fredericksburg, Va., the U.S. headquarters of Germany’s Kaeser Kompressoren SE, has announced a new and exciting partnership with the Couvillon Lab in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. Kaeser will fund a two-year research program to determine which plant and flower species are preferred by bees and other pollinators. The study will add important and crucial knowledge to the field and be the first of its kind specific to the region.
Kaeser states that it has always believed that maintaining the quality of the environment is a shared commitment.
“Our products not only operate with exceptional energy efficiency and maximum environmental-compatibility but we also use natural resources as little as possible in production, sales and service,” said Frank Mueller, president of Kaeser Compressors, Inc. “Kaeser recognizes the global crisis related to pollinators and the broader impact it could have on our food supply. We see this study as a continuation of the Kaeser family’s longstanding commitment to the local communities and environments where they do business.”
Lack of food is a major factor in pollinator decline. One activity that is currently popular in groups ranging from libraries and museums to private companies and individuals is to plant a pollinator garden.
“The good news is, as this crisis gains recognition in the general public, everyone wants to feed hungry pollinators,” said Dr. Margaret Couvillon. “I am approached about once a week for advice on what plants to use, but efficacy is undermined because we do not always know what plants are best. My hypothesis is that while lists are available on the internet and in entomology-related circles, these lists might not be compatible, complete, nor grounded in scientific basis. That’s why we are delighted to have Kaeser sponsor this important research for us.”
The research project will establish a “Kaeser Fellow,” identified as Micki Palmersheim, who will manage two field sites for two years at Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg. Palmersheim will work closely on follow-up research with Dr. Couvillon. Both native and non-native as well as annual and perennial species will be studied to produce a verified list of flowering plants that are commonly available for purchase in nurseries or garden centers. This research can then be used by a wide range of interested parties to benefit not just those assist the pollinator crisis in the Commonwealth, but in communities across the nation.
For more information, visit us.kaeser.com/plantsforpollinators.