This past weekend, I participated in the bee pollinator event in Spring Valley. I was able to work alongside Cathy Chadwick, Director of the Earth Discovery Institute, and her staff, along with Jessica Davids, a native bee expert. Although this was a small event, it was very eventful and I had never felt so connected with nature. We were out on the trails near the historic Sweetwater River bridge, by a humongous oak tree. As we saw people biking, walking, and even running along the trails, we tried to persuade them to stop and get a drink of water while listening to all the fun information we wanted to share about the bees in our environment. Some families stopped, and we helped their kids make awesome bee masks out of paper plates, markers, and other decorating utensils. This creative activity was my favorite part of the event. We also showed each person an intricate video of how a bee pollinates, so that they could see how much pollen a bee actually carries. As Jessica was discussing bees with each individual, I learned a couple of new things from her as well. I learned that 90% of bees do not pollinate, and that male bees do not sting but do bite. In addition, there are over 500 species of bees recorded, and not all bees are black and yellow. Also, not all bees live in beehives; in fact, some live in dirt holes burrowed into the ground. I never knew there was so much to learn about bees, but, then again, I never knew there was so much to learn about shorebirds. Related to that, being out there in nature gave me the opportunity to practice listening to the bird sounds, and I was able to identify a Least Bell’s Vireo. I was surprised with myself at how easy it was to identify the sound. Anyway, I was super glad to be a part of this pollinator event because I was able to get involved with the public and learn about bees…and, as a result, to develop a greater appreciation for them.

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