Pollinator Month, June 2018, was a celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and other species that help pollinate more than 1,200 crops. That means one out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators! In addition, about 90% of all wild plants and trees rely on pollinators for the survival of their species. Because of this, pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, and support other wildlife. These events helped people learn more about why we need pollinators and how pollinators need us!
Locally, Pollinator Month celebrations are coordinated by Hendersonville Bee City USA (a program of the City of Hendersonville Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board. Citizens who joined the fun and got involved with bringing back the pollinators by participating in the variety of Pollinator Month activities. They got some great gardening tips about removing invasive plants and restoring habitats, keeping honey bees, and discovered the fascinating world of plant-pollinator interactions. A schedule of events is posted below. You may also keep up with the latest Pollinator Month news by liking the Hendersonville Bee City USA page on Facebook.
Oklawaha Greenway Non-Native Invasive Plant Removal was presented by Mountain True on June 7 and included: training on identifying target invasive plants and control methods (manual and herbicide application).
Gardening for Pollinators in Western North Carolina was presented by the Henderson County Extension Office. Butterflies, bees, and green lacewings are just a few of the insects that benefit humans. In this class participants learned how to identify pollinating insects in the landscape and vegetable garden. They also learned which plants feed, shelter, and provide habitat for pollinating insects as well as building a pollinator house! Pesticide use can harm beneficial insects so they learned how to control bad insects with non-pesticide techniques.
A Summer Garden Tour was presented by Bullington Gardens. This 90-minute magical tour of Bullington Gardens took participants through some of the most popular gardens including the perennial, rain, shade, reflection, herb, native woodland, pollinator, dahlia, therapy, fairy and Sally’s Garden.
Introduction to Beekeeping was presented by the Henderson County Beekeepers Association and Veterans Healing Farm. This informative program was about on how to get started in beekeeping. Topics included: basic bee biology, equipment and terminology, how to get bees, beekeeper responsibilities, investment (cost), producing local honey, benefits of joining a bee club, and more. The program was held at the Veterans Healing Farm whose mission is to support veterans and caregivers by providing access to fresh produce, farm activities, and seminars on holistic health and sustainability.
Maintaining the Mountain Landscape Garden was presented by Steve Pettis, Henderson County Commercial and Consumer Horticulture Agent, taught gardeners the most effective ways to maintain the mountain landscape utilizing bee friendly techniques.
Another Introduction to Beekeeping was presented June 16 by the Henderson County Beekeepers Association and Hendersonville Community Co-Op
Gardening for Pollinators: Throughout June, Gardens That Matter presented an on-line education series by garden educator and author Amy Landers live from the hive (or garden) via Facebook video for a short daily lesson about pollinators in our gardens as well as an in-depth webinar and live Q&A about pollinator-friendly plants and practices.
Lewis Creek Preserve Nature Walk: Lewis Creek Preserve is an eight-acre preserve protected and managed by Conserving Carolina. MountainTrue Ecologist and Public Lands Director, Bob Gale, lead a slow hike along the trail, interpreting the plant life, wildflowers, and value of pollinators on this property. The visit included a boardwalk that overlooks an example of the remaining rare Southern Appalachian Bog ecosystems. Bob and MountainTrue have special expertise in managing these bogs and in addressing their threats, including non-native invasive plants.
Guided Nature Walk: Presented by The Park at Flat Rock, certified naturalist Rosalie Estey guided a nature walk featuring pollinators and flowers. The walk began at the welcome center and included a stroll through the pollinator garden and future wildflower meadow area.
Pollinator Day was presented on June 23 by B.B. Barns Garden Center and Henderson County Beekeepers Association. The beekeepers showcased a live observation hive, discussed the importance of pollinators, and answered questions. Free pollinator seeds were given to the first 40 families! In addition, a Beekeeping Basics seminar was offered and a Best Perennials for Cut Flowers & Wildcrafting seminar was offered.
Farm, Field and Forest: Discover Pollinators at Connemara: The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site provided a Farm, Field and Forest TRACK Trail brochure to help participants discover the homes and hiding places of pollinators at Connemara. The trail guided participants by the gardens, goats and pastures while following the footsteps of Carl Sandburg’s grandchildren. Activities in the brochure taught about the various plant and animal communities that work together at Connemara.
Pollinator Seed Packets were given away by the City of Hendersonville Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board. As part of the effort to expand local habitat for pollinators, residents were encouraged to pick up a free seed packet and plant a patch of flowers to feed the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These "Bee the change you want to see in the world" packets include had seeds to cover 10 square feet.
Our neighbors, Bee City USA Asheville, offered more local events in WNC!