Encaustic artist Julia Fossen has used wax as a medium for pairing for many years. Based in Asheville's River Arts District, Julia recently contacted Bee City USA to say she'd like to give something back to help the honey bees who help her create lasting works of art. Each time a a bee themed piece of art sells, she is making a gift of $10 to Bee City USA toward reversing the trend of pollinator decline. Thanks Julia!
It's nice to report good news for bees for a change! The White House created the Pollinator Health Task Force and on June 20 released Presidential Memorandum -- Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators . (They also shared a helpful Fact Sheet.) We are hopeful this initiative will result in many meaningful public/private partnerships to help pollinators.
Salon.com shared this story on July 14: Fish and Wildlife Service to eliminate bee-killing pesticides from protected lands . This decision brings much needed attention to the pervasiveness of seeds treated with systemic neonicotinoid pesticides.
But that's not all! In March and June, Eugene, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington, restricted use of neonicotinoid pesticides on city-owned property to help the bees.
People in communities across the country are banding together to help the pollinators, and they may not even realize how much they may be helping people at the same time.
Asheville Daily Planet publisher (and former beekeeper) John North has outdone himself on his reports of USDA Bee Lab leader, Dr, Jeff Pettis', recent keynote addresses during Pollination Celebration! week in Asheville. Read the two stories here. In this photo Pettis is tasting honeys from exotic invasive kudzu and Japanese knotweed during the reception before the Give Bees A Chance presentation on June 18.
Asheville Citizen Times reporter Mackensy Lunsford recently wrote a great story about the upcoming Pollination Celebration! in Asheville during National Pollinator Week:
Bee City USA founders, Phyllis and Richard Stiles, recently had a tour of the Waldorf-Astoria's rooftop apiary in New York.
David Garcelon put beehives and a garden on the roof when he became Director of Culinary in 2011. The hives produced 250 pounds of honey last year--enough to serve honey ice cream in the hotel restaurant!
Garcelon is cooking up more than just delicious food; he's raising awareness of how important honeybees are to our food supply. It seems to be working; the story on their website received 5 billion hits and restaurants and hotels around the world are establishing rooftop apiaries.
On Sunday, April 6 at 11 a.m., Oprah will interview award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg about his work with time-lapse nature photography and the inherent spirituality revealed through nature, often not visible to the naked eye. Get ready for bees, monarchs and hummingbirds like you've never seen them before. Watch it live on the OWN channel or watch it streamed live online.
Kudos to Eugene, Oregon! On February 26, Eugene's city council voted unanimously to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on city-owned property, citing concerns for both the health of children and pollinators.The state of Oregon also is taking measures to better control neonics following last year's massive bumblebee die-offs due to inappropriate, cosmetic use of neonicotinoid dinotefuran.
The Winter Storm Warning couldn't keep them away! Of the 120 people from the southeastern US who registered, about 100 of them braved snow and ice on March 7 to attend the Pollinator Conservation Planning Course. Introductory topics included the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules covered land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. Dr. Nancy Adamson of the NRCS/Xerces Society and Debbie Roos, Cooperative Extension Agent from Chatham County, NC, used stunning photos and case studies of pollinator conservation efforts across the country to illustrate the modules. Many participants also attended the Organic Growers School on Saturday and Sunday which offered a 6-workshop pollinator track. River Island Apothecary was also there selling Nectar Flow Perfume to benefit Bee City USA.
Preceding the Organic Growers School Annual Conference, Dr Nancy Adamson and Debbie Roos will teach an all-day Pollinator Conservation Planning Course on March 7 at UNC Asheville.
Let pollinators and other beneficial insects do the work! Native bees and other beneficial insects such as predators and parasitoids of crop pests can provide free pollination and pest management services. Find out how to protect and manage habitat for these vital insects on the farm and in home and community gardens.
This full day training will provide you with the latest science-based approaches and local resources for attracting and conserving beneficial insects. Register online.
Course sponsors include UNC Asheville Student Environmental Center and Sustainability Office, Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, Asheville Bee Charmer, and Snow Creek Landscaping.
Join pollinator instructor Diane Almond Feb. 11 & 18, 2014, at Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville, NC.