A few days ago I was weeding in the hydrangea patch when I noticed so many bees speeding around the oak leaf hydrangeas that I deliberately steered clear of my bushes. In all my years of gardening, I have not been stung but I have never seen so many bees so busy before! I thought it prudent to avoid them but secretly I was celebrating the fact that I had so many pollinators in my garden, so necessary for my vegetable and berry plants to bear fruit.
oak leaf hydrangea
(bee in middle)
Next week is Pollinator Week, initiated and managed by the Pollinator Partnership. Pollinator Week, June 16-22, 2014, has become an international awareness campaign to educate people about the importance of pollinators such as bees, birds, butterflies, bats, and beetles. The Pollinator Partnership web site has a wealth of information, including a database of activities for next week by state and country. I looked at our Washington, DC, metropolitan area and as of Wednesday, June 11, below is what was on the web site. I am sure more could be added in the future, check the web site next week and always confirm dates/times/events with these organizations.I also downloaded an “ecoregional” guide for selecting plants for pollinators based on my Northern Virginia zip code. Apparently, I live in the Southeastern Mixed Forest Province and according to this 24-page, colored guide, pollinators in my area are bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, beetles (known to pollinate magnolias, sweetshrub, and paw paws!), and flies (goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace!). This was news to me; I have always had plenty of butterflies, bees, and birds in my garden but never thought of the others as that important. The guide also describes what I can do to attract these pollinators and the type of plants they prefer. What is on the list? Oak leaf hydrangea!Pollinator events in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area from the Pollinator.org web site (copied and pasted) as of Wednesday June 11, 2014.
Pollinator Garden Visit, 9:30-11:30 June 21, 1803 Anderson Road, Falls Church 22043. Come to an event celebrating National Pollinator Week (June 16-22). Visit a new Pollinator Garden in Pimmit Hills, at 1803 Anderson Road (see link below). Your host Clement Kent, author of “How to Make a Pollinator Garden”, will show you how make a garden which is beautiful and friendly to pollinators such as butterflies, birds, and bees. And, Cindy Wackerbarth of the Monarch Teacher Network will tell you about how teachers and students are helping monarch butterflies survive. Find out what YOU can do to help! This is a free, low-key event – drop in for a few minutes or a long chat.
Flights of Fancy: Art Inspired by the Bee and Butterfly Garden
Reception & Program Date: June 18, 2014 from 6.30 pm to 9 pm, 5722 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22207. The exhibit runs from June 3 through July 5. The Lee Arts Center presents, Flights of Fancy: Art Inspired by the Bee and Butterfly Garden. This exhibit will present works that were inspired either by texture, color, and/or literal impressions from the Lee Center’s Butterfly Garden. Thanks to the generosity of a neighbor and friend to the Lee Center, there will be an award presented to the artist who creates the most inspiring butterfly/bee garden work. The award will be selected by a panel of impartial judges. The Flights of Fancy reception on June 18th will feature the butterfly garden and a presentation on pollinators. The exhibit coincides with National Pollinator Week which runs from June 16 through the 22nd. Native pollinators play an essential role in plant reproduction and food production, in our gardens, on our farms and in wild settings. We hope you can join us on June 18th to learn more about our local pollinators.
Pollinator Party at the Silver Spring Farmer’s Market, June 21, 9am -1pm, Ellsworth Dr. between Fenton St. and Georgia Ave. MD 20910. Meet the Pollinators of Silver Spring, Maryland at the Silver Spring Farmers Market. Join Silver Spring Green, Brookside Nature Center, and local author Alison Gillespie to celebrate, honor and learn about our local bees. Come to our booth at the Farmers Market and learn about how these incredible insects provide us with one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat. Find out how to help and protect them. We’ll have displays and crafts about honey bees and native bees for the whole family to enjoy. Alison Gillespie will also have copies of her new book, Hives in the City: Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World.
Pollinator Week at the National Museum of Natural History, 1000 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004, June 16 – June 20
Monday, June 16, 2-3pm, Q?rius Theater, National Museum of Natural History, Lecture: “Not only for the Birds and the Bees: Beetles and their role in Pollination”, Presenter: Jonathan Mawdsley, Smithsonian Entomologist
Tuesday, June 17, 10am-1pm, Outdoor Butterfly Garden, National Museum of Natural History
Pollination Party at Smithsonian Gardens, Presenter: Smithsonian Gardens staff and the University of Maryland PollinaTerps
Wednesday, June 18, 2-3pm, Q?rius Theater, National Museum of Natural History, Lecture: “Mysteries of Orchid Pollination: Alternative Lifestyles in the Orchid Family”, Presenter: Tom Mirenda, Smithsonian Orchid Specialist
Thursday, June 19, 2-3 pm, Q?rius Theater, National Museum of Natural History, Lecture: “Backyard orchids: Native Orchids and their pollinators”, Presenter: Dennis Whigham, Smithsonian Ecologist
Friday, June 20, 2–3pm, Live Butterfly Pavilion, National Museum of Natural History, Scientist is In: Plant Conservation, Presenter: Gary Krupnick, Smithsonian Botanist
Art of Pollination
Artists from around the world are invited to submit art relating to our pollinators for possible inclusion in a beautiful book of art. For the 2nd year, professional artists and school children have come together to foster awareness of pollinators through creative expression. Books are available on line through our website and published by MagCloud and WagnerDesign. http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/555950