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The Birds and the Bees: National Pollinator Week

bee on a purple flower
Photo: Maymont

Article by: Ashley M. Moulton, Environmental Educator/Master Gardener Coordinator, Chesterfield County. – It’s time to talk about the birds and the bees – and the butterflies, bats and beetles. The conversation can be an easy one, with upcoming National Pollinator Week events.

Metro Richmond residents can celebrate the crucial role pollinators play in our everyday lives at the 5th annual Bumblebee Jamboree on June 18, from 10:30-2:30 p.m. at Maymont Families are invited to participate in hands-on experiences at this free event that encourages kids to explore, learn about and help our buzzing little friends. Children can enjoy pollinator-related crafts, puppet shows, snacks, relay races and dances, as well as interactive activities. Adults can learn about native plant suggestions for our area and other ways to help pollinators at home. Get close to pollinators at the Virginia butterfly safari tents, VCU’s Bug Lab and the enclosed bumblebee & honeybee observation hive.

The event aims to educate residents of the greater Richmond area on the importance of pollinators to our daily lives and what each of us can do in our own backyards to support a critical component of our Virginia ecosystem. Homeowners can help out by planting a habitat garden of native Virginia plants to attract and support pollinators at their homes. The new Virginia Native Plant Finder tool is a great way to search for native plants and can even recommend plants to attract specific pollinators. Another educational aim is to promote proper pesticide applications and reduce pesticide misuse. Several pest control products have high toxicity to bees if applied incorrectly. Remember to call your local for unbiased, research-based information when an issue presents itself in the landscape.

Over 60 Chesterfield Master Gardener volunteers and many local community partners including the VCU Bug Lab, Rockwood Beekeepers, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, Tricycle Gardens, Boulevard Flowers, the Chesterfield County Public Library and Science Matters annually prepare interactive pollinator-themed activities to increase awareness about pollinator protection in our area.

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