Last updated: August 2, 2016
I met Tina Greenawalt at the natural resource building and we headed over to the main park service office building to pick up some boxes, then headed over to Montezuma Castle. We went to the castle to check out the bee situation. The bees have calmed down a lot and there is about half the amount that were there before. Thankfully we were able to move the boundary line a little bit closer to the main viewing area for visitors. A bee keeper should be coming out tomorrow to assess the situation and take care of the problem! If the bees are Africanized, then they must be killed but if they are just honey bees then they can be transported to another location.
We then moved on to the area that I was at yesterday to meet Fraser and check on a native plant plot. Thankfully, the native plants were unharmed and they are doing well! It was a quick stop and I headed out with Fraser to Montezuma Well. Hannah and Dan met us there;they had just got back from spraying some invasive species. Fraser and I watered some plants and then started pulling the seed heads off of invasive plants around the drainage ditch to reduce their spread and decrease the amount of offspring. Fraser informed me that even though there appeared to be tons of plants, it was actually just one plant because they all shared the same genetics.
After we had completed the task of removing seed heads and Hannah and Dan had finished watering plants, we all grouped up to distribute some native seeds on the Park Service property. The seeds we were dispersing are in little crumbles of clay;we just took handfuls of the seed-filled crumbles and threw them throughout the area. Fraser then mapped the area with a GPS.
The last part of the day was spent removing invasive plants from a plot of land so that endemic species can be planted. I was armed with a weed whacker and my job was to cut down as many of the plants as possible before the cutter ran out of gas. Once it ran out of gas we resorted to pulling the weeds by hand. The task was extremely challenging as there were countless plants grouped together throughout the plot and it was very hot outside. By the end of our time in the plot area we had an enormous pile of weeds, which we then carried to a pile out in the desert to be burned later. It was a day full of hard work and fun with the National Park Service!