What HRI is Doing
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With the support of county funding and partnering non-profits, the HRI has established local insectaries where predator beetles can breed and become established, to later be collected and re-distributed. These insectaries will increase the number of HWA predators present in southern Appalachian forests and reduce dependence on resource intensive procurement methods, like wild collection or lab production.
Learn about the “Beetles Save Needles” program and community trainings hosted by the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council, an HRI partner and award recipient, here. In February 2016 the NC HWA Bio-control Forum was held in Montreat, NC. Please contact email@example.com for videos of the presentations.
In the May 2015 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of 5,000 Laricobius nigrinus beetles to be released on remaining high quality hemlock stands on public and municipally held lands that provide benefit to the county as a whole. Follow the county’s hemlock preservation project here.
HRI monitors for Laricobius beetles throughout the active season (fall through spring). HRI staff visit previous release sites as well as new areas to look for dispersal. To date, HRI has found Laricobius beetles persisting in release sites and even spreading to new areas. We are hopeful about this development and plan to continue looking in more areas for evidence of natural dispersal by the beetles.
You can help with beetle monitoring in two ways. One is to join HRI for a volunteer beetle monitoring day. Fill out our Volunteer Sign Up Form to register. Another way is to look for beetles on your own hemlock trees. See our HWA Predator Home Monitoring page for more information.