2018-04-12 / Community

Pollinator health meetings, Bee Palooza set

EAST LANSING - Michigan State University-Extension (MSUE) educators are partnering with Michigan State University (MSU) researchers for three events to discuss projects MSU staff are working on and opportunities to support pollinators, as part of a USDA-funded project to support Michigan honey bees, wild bees and monarch butterflies.

The MSU Department of Entomology invite people of all ages to the annual Bee Palooza in the MSU Horticulture Gardens - a free, fun and educational event with interactive activities centered on understanding pollinators.

POLLINATOR HEALTH MEETINGS

Organizers seek constructive discussions with beekeepers, growers, conservation districts, land managers, utility companies, road and drain commissions and others with the potential to support pollinator health and are looking for input from a range of local stakeholders interested in improving pollinator health and conservation.

The two-hour events will open with sign in, introduction, current research and projects update by MSU staff and a time for a discussion with extension educators and researchers of the locally-relevant approaches to support and build local efforts to improve pollinator health.

The meetings are free and refreshments will be provided; RSVP is requested: https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=77E56ECBD3C3E814.

• Monday, April 16, 6-8 p.m., Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center, 6686 S. Center Hwy., Traverse City, Contact: Duke Elsner, 231-922-4822, elsner@msu.edu.

• Tuesday, April 17, noon-2 p.m.; Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center, 3775 S. Reese Road, Frankenmuth. Contact Ben Phillips, 989-758-2502, phill406@msu.edu.

• Wednesday, May 9, 6-8 p.m., Ottawa County Fillmore Complex Board Room, 12220 Fillmore St., West Olive. Contact Carlos Garcia-Salazar, 616-994- 4580, garcias4@msu.edu.

BEE PALOOZA

Also, Bee Palooza will be Sunday, June 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 pm. at the MSU Horticulture Gardens, East Lansing.

Pollinators - especially bees - play an important role in the production of many seeds, nuts and fruits that humans enjoy. Some people think only of allergies when they think about pollen, but pollination - the transfer of pollen grains to fertilize the seed-producing ovaries of flowers - is essential to plant reproduction. Many trees, shrubs and wildflowers depend on bees and other animals for pollination. Worldwide concerns about pollinator declines have increased awareness about the importance of pollinators and questions about what individuals can do to help.

To celebrate National Pollinator Week, starting in 2012, members of the MSU Department of Entomology have been hosting an annual Bee Palooza in the MSU Horticulture Gardens. For people of all ages, this is a free, fun and educational event organized by volunteers to provide an afternoon of interactive activities centered on understanding the wonderful world of pollinators.

Stations are set up around the gardens and can be visited in any order. On display will be demonstration honey bee and bumble bee colonies, examples of wild Michigan bees and how to build bee hotels, plants and gardening practices to support pollinators, as well as how we need pollinators in food production. Attendees can make clay seed bombs, go on guided pollinator tours, pet a bumble bee, learn about how bee bodies work, and have their face painted with a pollinator!

For more information, visit the Bee Palooza website: http://www.beepalooza.org.

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