Bee Smart About Bees
Animal pollinators account for approximately one-third of our daily plant sourced foods. Without bees, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds, bats and others that pollinate flowering crops our breakfast, lunch and dinner tables would look much different: toast without jam, pasta without tomato sauce, very few fruits or vegetables. With the population of the world growing exponentially, it is now more important that ever, to conserve our precious pollinators and educate the public on what they can do as well.
The Montgomery County Agriculture Agents partnered with the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association to sponsor a Bee Smart About Bees 4-H Summer Fun program for youth in the county. During the two-day event, the participants learned about a variety of animal pollinators but focused specifically on bees. Using curriculum from the Pollinator Partnership Bee Smart School Garden, the class learned about pollinator ID, bee anatomy, the pollination process, pollinator gardens, seed germination and much more.
The first day, participants decorated their own seed pots and humming bird feeders, planted vegetable or flower seeds in their decorated pots, played the Web Of Life game, built their own super bee and using glitter and pipe cleaners, they became pollinators and learned how hard it is to actually pollinate flowers and crops.
On day two, the group traveled to Pittsboro, NC to visit the Chatham Mills Pollinator Paradise Garden created by Extension Agent, Debbie Roos. The garden has over 180 species of plants that appeal to pollinators of all varieties. During the garden tour, the class got to see all kinds of pollinators, different types of pollinator habitats as well as the types of native plants that home gardeners can plant to encourage pollinators. After the tour, participants enjoyed a picnic lunch at Mary Hayes Barber Holmes Park and spent some time under the misting machine and trying to balance the giant seesaw. It was the perfect ending to a hot summer day.
For more information about bees, beekeeping, pollinators or 4-H Youth Programming, please contact the Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Office at 910-576-6011. To learn more about the Pollinator Partnership and other programs that they offer, visit their website: http://www.pollinator.org/