Register Now--Organic Growers School March 11-12!
Back by popular demand, Organic Growers School Spring Conference is back on the UNC Asheville campus with more than 150 workshops on topics ranging from cooking to mushrooms to pollinators.
Bee City USA has partnered with Organic Growers School to offer a pollinator track with outstanding presenters:
Creating Monarch Habitats - Kim Bailey
Invite monarchs to lunch by growing milkweed and providing a succession of nectar plants throughout the season! Take an in-depth look at monarch natural history, migration, and habitat needs. Discuss pollinator plant propagation, techniques for rearing caterpillars indoors, and explore related citizen-science projects.
Enhancing Farm Diversity to Support Pollinators - Nancy Lee Adamson
Floral diversity on farms supports pollinators and many other insects that benefit our farms, gardens, and watersheds. Learn about some of our smaller farm heroes: the most common types of bees, wasps, flies, beetles, and other wildlife that help ensure healthy harvests.
Growing Native Plants from Seed - Pat Sommers
Discuss seed morphology, pollination and the importance of species plants in a highly hybridized world. You'll plant two six-packs with a variety of native seeds while learning germination requirements and the what, how and why of growing them.
Integrating Pollinators into the Garden - Angie Lavezzo
Learn the benefits of attracting pollinators to your vegetable gardens for boosting natural pest control, increased yields, and overall beauty.
Meet the 'Other' Bees - Jill Sidebottom
Native bees were the New World's pollinator work horses long before the honey bee was brought here from Europe. Discover the rich diversity of native bees in western NC, and learn how to recognize the most common groups and how to increase them in your garden or farm.
Plant-Pollinator Interactions - Tim Spira
Have you ever wondered why there is such an incredible diversity of flower shapes, sizes, colors, and fragrances in nature? Discover how plant-pollinator interactions have been a key force generating the diversity of flowers that we see in nature.
Who Pollinates Your Food? - Phyllis Stiles
Plants and their pollinators co-evolved over millions of years in mutually beneficial ways. Today three-quarters of the world's crops benefit from pollinators, either for producing seeds or improving the quality and/or quantity of yields. Get ready to be amazed at how crafty flowers can be!
Half-Day Workshop: Beekeeping Basics - Sarah Eshan McKinney & Diane Almond
Learn what's involved with the magic of honeybees: time, money, equipment, and management options and issues to enjoy and sustain healthy hives. Class will be taught through PowerPoint, beekeeping equipment, and handouts.
Can You Help? Organic Growers School Needs Moderators for Spring Conference
Moderating is a VERY IMPORTANT job. Moderators represent OGS and are OGS' eyes and ears in the classrooms to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Contact Sera Deva if you are interested in volunteering for Organic Growers School.
Learn more here.
Moderator Time Commitments:
Friday Moderator Training (all Sat/Sun moderators) at UNCA: 6:00pm-7:00pm in Karpen 244 (second floor, facing the quad) with Karin and Lee. The training will cover what we expect from our moderators, as well as a crash course in using a Smart Classroom.
Friday Pre-Conference Moderators: 9:15am-4:45pm
Saturday Moderators: 8:45am-12:30pm, 1:45pm-5:30pm
Sunday Moderators: 8:45am-12:30pm, 1:45pm-5:30pm
Door Monitor: Before your track begins, stand at the door and make sure that everyone entering has a wrist band. If someone does not have a wristband, please send them to Conference Headquarters.
Take Attendance: This is very important because it lets OGS know how popular the classes were. "Attendance" in this case just means counting all the people who came.
Classroom Setup, Management & Troubleshooting: You will manage the flow of chairs, people, and space. Make seating suggestions, move chairs around, and assure that the classroom is comfortable (in temperature and atmosphere as well). If there are AV issues or problems with light, sound, etc., please try to solve the problem or contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
FACILITATE during questioning for the speaker. Example: If four people raise their hands at the same time, you can "stack", meaning, you will delegate who goes 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Many speakers will do this themselves, but sometimes it is helpful for you to assist. Check with the speaker to find out if they'd prefer to have questions throughout the class or a time towards the end specifically as a questions/answer session.
Time Management: Ask the teacher how they would prefer help with time management and give them appropriate signals at halfway, 30 minutes left, 10 minutes left and time.
Announcements: Welcome everyone to the Annual Spring Conference! This class is (state the exact name of the class so people can tell if they are in the right place). Make housekeeping announcements.
Complete an Evaluation Form FOR EACH CLASS: This is very important because it lets OGS know how popular the classes were. "Attendance" in this case just means counting all the people in the class about halfway through. Please be sure to return your moderator folder, with evaluations included, to OGS Headquarters. This is really important feedback for our future planning.
Cleanup: Please make sure the space is completely cleaned up or transitioned to the next class before you leave.
Photos (Optional): Please take some photos and send them to email@example.com to build OGS' library of images.
Twitter (Optional): Are you a twitter user and/or Instagram user? Tweet/Post about the conference with hashtag #SpringConference17 or tag @organicgrowersschool!
Blog Write Up (Optional): OGS would love to publish a write up of the class you are attending in your name, which we'll share through social media.
***Moderating is one of the most important jobs you can possibly have! Please know that the information you will be procuring for OGS and the services you will be providing are essential to the conference! We appreciate your time and willingness to help out!
The rooftop bees of the Renaissance Asheville Hotel invite you to join them February 9, at 5:30-7:30, to benefit the world AND the Center for Honeybee Research! Compare your palette to the judges' of the 6th annual International Black Jar Honey Tasting Contest. Your $25 ticket includes wine or beer, appetizers, music by Benavides and Wolf, a raffle, and a chance to taste 27 truly unique honeys and vote on your Peoples' Choice ballot. Cash bar available. Winning honey to be auctioned.
To get your tickets to this exciting event click here Tickets will be $35 at the door.
The illustrious judges: Katie Button, Jonathan Ammons, Stu Helms, Phyllis Stiles, Dr. Barry Pate, Jr., Chef Richard Petrelli, Nancy Williams, Emily Jackson, Butch Thompson, Cathy Cleary and YOU!
More than 100 bee advocates were invited to participate in a 3-day conference in Marin County, California from December 10-13. The public summary presentation by thought leaders Mark Winston, Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Jim Frazier, William Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, and Chaz Mraz will be held tonight at Dominican University.
Conference organizer Bonnie Morse would have been hard-pressed to find an opening speaker who could have charged us to be more audacious--Larry Brilliant, the first leader of Google.org and a leader of a public health team that successfully eradicated small pox as a public health threat.
The conference mantra was to be open-minded and think big. Stay tuned for the audacious ideas spawned by both a sense of urgency to reverse pollinator declines and a willingness to listen intently to one another.
Representatives from five Bee City USA affiliates attended: Laura Bee from Ashland, OR; Sharon Schmidt from Phoenix, OR; Bob Redmond from Seattle, WA; Patricia Algara from San Francisco, CA; and Phyllis Stiles, director of Bee City USA, from Asheville, NC.
The North Carolina Arboretum, a public garden and affiliate of the University of North Carolina system, and Bee Campus USA, are pleased to announce that the Arboretum is the seventh institution to be certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate.
The Arboretum’s Executive Director George Briggs said, “As an affiliate of the University of North Carolina system, the Arboretum works hard to provide our members, visitors and students with educational opportunities that align with both our mission and the University. Bee Campus USA is a terrific organization and we are excited to have them as a partner to help us grow our program even further.”
In addition to creating and enhancing pollinator-focused landscapes on its campus, the Arboretum works with volunteers and other outside organizations to create pollinator gardens in the community.
“Learning through service is a core value of our educational institution,” commented Clara Curtis, senior director for mission delivery at The North Carolina Arboretum. “For example, our partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific is enabling the establishment of pollinator gardens at five local schools and our ecoEXPLORE initiative is helping us create similar features at all twelve branches of the Buncombe County Public Library System. We are extremely excited about all of these efforts to increase awareness about the benefits of pollinators in our region.”
Read the full press release here.
This summer, Troop 91 Eagle Scout Bennett David led a scout class at The North Carolina Arboretum to make "seed bombs" with the help of Nina Veteto at Monarch Rescue. These seed bombs will be thrown to "bomb the bank" at the Franklin School of Innovation in Enka, in order to create a native pollinator meadow on a large bank on the school campus. "Seed bombs" are made from native wildflower seeds and compost, rolled in clay. The scouts made over 50 pounds of seed bombs, while earning their Fish and Wildlife Merit Badge.
Bennett led the same activity with the students at the Franklin School of Innovation. where they installed a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. The project is the first of 4 schools that was funded through a grant from ThermoFisher Scientific. The Franklin School will use the garden and a pollinator meadow as part of their hands-on science curriculum. Over 180 students and 25 faculty members worked over 340 hours to prepare the site and install the Monarch Waystation. Bennett is working to encourage other scouts or other groups to consider planting Pollinator Gardens.
On September 19, Bennett will also lead an activity where visitors to the North Carolina Arboretum can make seed bombs at the Monarch Day event.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about planning your own scout or student project.
What' s That Buzz I Hear in Downtown Asheville? Downtown Shops Welcome Pollination Celebration! Week With Bee Swarms in Windows
"Art has the power to communicate truth and inspire people to action." Artist Libba Tracy
Once again Libba Tracy has inspired the community to think about imperiled pollinators, but she asks us to really LOOK at them. Her simply illustrated white honeybee decal placed tastefully in more than 125 downtown shop windows beckons people into shops to ask why they are appearing all over Asheville. This is just the kind of conversation Libba hoped for.
Once inside, they may find brochures about Pollination Celebration! events planned to continue the dialogue. Whether they attend a documentary, a garden tour, a scholarly presentation or a honey beer tasting, they will learn something about the important role pollinators play in making our world bloom and fruit.
Soon we will post a list of all the participating shops. Twin Leaf Brewery is releasing its new honey beer in honor of the week and will contribute $1 for every honey beer sold on Thursday, June 18, to Bee City USA.
Thanks to Libba, the participating shop owners who are helping us promote the week's events, the Asheville Downtown Association, Signarama, and the many volunteers who visited about 200 shops to ask for their participation.
All certified Bee City USA communities commit to doing at least one educational event each year. With nine certified communities and growing, we intend to capture good ideas like this one from each city to share with and inspire one another.
Bring a friend and join us for this important workshop on Friday, April 24, the second in a 4-part series presented by the Asheville Alternatives to Pesticides Coalition.
6:00-6:30 Light refreshments
36 Montford Avenue, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Many thanks to Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies, HomeGrown, Green Sage, Catawba Brewing and Roots Hummus for generously providing the location and refreshments.
Applicants wanted! Bee City USA has teamed up with Asheville GreenWorks to hire a Project Conserve AmeriCorps Pollinator Project Outreach Coordinator to serve Asheville and Buncombe County, NC. The deadline for applying is May 22.
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA director and board.