Pollinator habitat is decreasing the world over. This wide variety of winged insects and vertebrates holds an essential place within our ecosystem, helping to produce more than one third of the food and drink we consume and facilitating the reproduction of 90 percent of the world’s wild plant species.
Bee City USA is an Asheville-based organization that continues to galvanize communities, towns and educational institutions across the country to foster pollinator-friendly landscapes and gardens that provide essential habitat to these keystone species. To date, 44 cities and 21 institutions have received the Bee City USA designation.
Each year, during the month of June, most Bee City USA-certified communities celebrate National Pollinator Week by hosting educational events dedicated to all things pollinator. This year Asheville and Hendersonville will hold educational and action events during the whole month of June, with many local businesses and individuals offering their support, including Ingles Market, a lead sponsor since 2014.
The Collider hosts the kickoff event in Asheville at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, with a film screening of the nature documentary Wings of Life featuring Louie Schwartzberg’s breathtaking stop-motion photography of flowers and their pollinators. From there the month unfolds with a wide array of events ranging from a plant propagation workshop with nurseryman Wes Burlingame on Thursday, June 1, at Bullington Gardens in Hendersonville, to a lecture by the native plant gardener, ecologist and professor emeritus Tim Spira on the evolutionary dynamics of plant-pollinator interactions, hosted by the Hendersonville Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board.
Pollinator event attendees will also want to make sure they sample the array of fun and many free kid-friendly activities, including an invasive plant removal walk along the Okalawaha Greenway led by MountainTrue, a presentation at the NC Arboretum on the fascinating lifecycle of butterflies, complete with a chrysalis chamber, and a star appearance by Hobey Ford and the Golden Rod Puppets, presenting at the West Asheville Library on Thursday, June 15.
Whether you’re new to the world of pollinators or already an accomplished beekeeper, this year’s Celebration is sure to offer fun and educational activities for young and old alike.
For more information and a complete guide to Pollination Celebration activities, visit ashevillegreenworks.org/bee-city. You may also keep up with the latest pollination celebrations by liking the Asheville and Hendersonville Bee City USA Facebook pages.