September 18 Is Last Day for Congressmen to Sign On to Letter Urging EPA to Revise Pesticide Regulation to Protect Pollinators
Please support the congressman who are trying to use the leadership of the EPA to turn the tide for pollinators. September 18 is the last day for Representatives to sign on to a letter to the EPA from Representatives Blumenauer (OR) and Conyers (MI), which the Xerces Society says, "outlines clear ways EPA could review and revise pesticide regulation to protect pollinators." This would be great time to email or call your Representative to share your concerns.
You do not want to miss this event! K2 Studio continues its PolliNation Exhibit to raise pollinator awareness and to support Bee City USA through November 1. This Saturday, September 20, 6:30 - 8:00, honeybee whisperer Debra Roberts will share tall, bee-ish tales from her travels in Turkey, Malta and other far-flung places, This event is free at K2 Studio in downtown Asheville, NC, at 59 College Street.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts is hosting the "Bring Back the Monarch Awareness Event", starting September 18 beginning with an artist reception and lecture by Ina Warren. The multi-modal show coincides with their peak migration time and will include experiential presentations to children at local schools, milkweed seed distribution, and a monarch tag and release program. Organizer and artist Libba Tracy is committed to doing what she can to get more people involved in helping these mythical migrators.
Help us spread the word. October 15 is the last day for receipt of entries to the 4th annual Black Jar Honey Contest, a contest that judges honey solely on its taste. Last year's Grand Prize winner came from an island off the coast of the Cape of South Africa, the only place its nectar source grows! The chef judges described it as "like butterscotch."
This year's Grand Prize winner will receive $1000, and the category winners (Best Local, Most Exotic, etc.) will walk away with $150. Not only is this contest a fundraiser for the Center for Honeybee Research, it also helps the Center educate the public about the relationship between pollinators and plants. When honey bees find a rich floral source, they tell their sisters and collect as much nectar as possible from that species. That's what scientists call "floral constancy," making honey bees beloved pollinators by farmers who need their crops pollinated to produce fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Lisa Wagner, author of the award-winning blog www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com and former Director of Education for the South Carolina Botanical Gardens returns to help you design a garden to encourage native pollinators (and honey bees) by using native plants that provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season, as well as providing larval food sources and nesting habitat,
Time: Sunday, Sept. 7, 1:30 - 3:00.
Cost: BGA members: $12, Non-members: $17
Reservations are required. Contact Office Administrator at BGA for additional information and/or to register (828) 252-5190.
Until now, when Bee City USA was asked if there were any other Bee City USA communities, we said Asheville was the only one--so far. But today, Bee City USA is excited to share the attached press release announcing that Asheville is no longer alone in its official commitment to help the bees.
Talent, Oregon, recently made the decision to take a stand for the bees and is now the second Bee City USA community. Bee City USA hopes their example will inspire many more.
The designation has had a profound impact in just the past two years in Asheville. Everybody seems to want to help the pollinators these days from native plant nurseries going neonic free, to schools planting pollinator gardens, to neighborhoods joining forces to buy pollinator-friendly plants with the commitment to share them with neighbors next year, to people going above and beyond to avoid killing pollinators that decide to nest in inconvenient locations.
Like Baba Dioum said, “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”
Congrats to Shorewood, Minnesota, for taking a bold step on behalf of pollinators on July 28th. Inspired by Patricia Hauser, volunteers have spent the last six months taking every opportunity to talk to their neighbors about the importance of bees, and what their community could do to curb harmful systemic pesticide use.
Encaustic artist Julia Fossen has used wax as a medium for painting 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.