Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Falling for Bees: A Positive Pollinator Week Message

 Just when I think I can’t fall more deeply in love with bees, I am once again head-over-heels in lurve. I love the way bees always surprise me, challenge my body of knowledge, and magically connect us with flowers and people. As I’ve been promoting my book Victory Gardens for Bees: A DIY Guide to Saving the Bees across Western Canada, the bees have been working their magic, and I feel there are people who really get it and are going to act as leaders in their community to protect and support pollinators. So if you’re looking for some good news during pollinator week, please visit my blog posts below and follow the recent stories of the bees I love and the people who love them!
In some of the classrooms I visit, a child will fall in love with a specific type of species of bee. One boy was fascinated with the sweat bees and could not stop chattering with excitement about how he was going to befriend these gentle bees. Do you want to fall for a bee? Sometimes it helps to know how to “court” a relationship with a bee. Here’s some simple tips.

How to Court a Bee:
 1)  Find a spot near you that has a critical mass of blooming flowers where there is bee activity.  Choose a warm, sunny afternoon and “bee sun smart” at this time of the day. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

2)   Challenge yourself to take the time to find the largest fuzziest bee you can see and the tiniest shiniest bee you can see.

3)   Find the “hotspot” in the patch of flowers where you see the most variety of bee species and sit awhile, counting how many kinds of bees you can see.

4)   Look for the furry part of the body where the bee collects its pollen.  Note the color or colors of pollen that the bee is collecting.

5)   Bring your camera—any kind will do—and try to snap multiple photos of one bee so you can look up close on your computer, zooming in on the bee for closer examination.

6)   Now go back to the same spot on another day and double your joy by bringing a friend. See if you can see if you can make a new set of observations and recognize some of the same bees you saw the first time. Share your observations and make a date to come back again and again . . . . The next thing you know, you’ll be falling in love with bees! 

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