Bees + Brews!

Let’s make bee hotels, drink beer, and learn about our pollinator friends!

Each ticket is $25/ person and includes:

  • 1 free beer
  • All materials to make 1 bee hotel

 

Special notes: Pre- registration is required, this is a 21+ event, space is limited, no prior skills are required to attend this event 

 

RSVP Below:

 

Durham Pollinator Garden Tour

"Pollenteers" of all ages are invited to come out and celebrate National Pollinator Week with us! Take a tour of Durham's finest pollinator gardens, engage in fun pollinator-related activities and learn why birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs alike are so vital to us! The Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Program has 13 participating community gardens, stop into as many you like or all of them. Check out the event website for more info about tickets and volunteer opportunities: Durham Pollinator Garden Tour 

Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Networking Social

Established Pollinator Garden Grant recipients and newly awarded Pollinator Garden Grant recipients are invited to come mix and mingle! Here we will learn about each others community gardens and how best to care for your already or soon to be installed pollinator gardens! 

Pollinator Garden Grant Recipients Announced!

Today is the big day! Keep Durham Beautiful will announce the winners of our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden Grant! Stay Tuned! 

Deadline for Pollinator Garden Grant Applications

Today is the last day to submit an application for the Healthy Bee, Healthy Me Pollinator Garden. Make sure to have all completed applications submitted. 

Food Day and Pollinators

Pollinators support this message

We support Food Day held on October 24th because it helps to raise awareness on our current food system and promotes healthier diets. When I think of a healthy diet, I think of scrumptious vegetables and sweet juicy fruits along with sustainable farming practices. Sustainable farming practices take into account environmental preservation and limit the use of pesticides, which pollute the environment and are responsible for the decline in pollinator populations.

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Pollinators play an integral role in our food system and we can thank them because they help provide 1 out of 3 bites of food we consume each day. In the US more than 150 crops are dependent on pollinators; this includes most fruits and grain crops.

Flowers have evolved an ingenious way to reproduce by attracting pollinators to carry their pollen. Pollinators are attracted to flowers due to their scent, vivid colors, or their sweet nectar. Once the pollinator lands on one flower it gets covered in pollen and then carries it to the next flower to pollinate it. After the flower has been pollinated fruits containing seeds are formed, these fruits will be picked by farmers and end up in our markets where you and I will enjoy them.

So, on Food Day, let’s eat healthier and support sustainable practices in our food system, for pollinators’ sake!

 

To learn more about pollinators:

http://keepdurhambeautiful.org/programs/healthybeehealthyme/

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Pollinator Week Event – Get Wild! Bugs and Bees at Horton Grove Nature Preserve

10 AM-11:30 AM Get Wild! Bugs and Bees at Horton Grove Nature Preserve, join Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) as we hunt for bugs, bees, and other pollinators. We’ll search the grasslands, stream banks, and forest floors for an up close look at the many types of beetles, butterflies, ants, and millipedes which call Horton Grove Nature Preserve home. We will learn some of the important ways insects help our environment and talk about which insects are safe to hold and which should be observed from a distance. We’ll also talk about how the native grassland at Horton Grove supports pollinator insects. This program is perfect for anyone interested in insects and families with children ages 4 and up.

50 Shades of Green: The Sex Lives of Plants

What some may not know is that process of pollination is similar to the process of reproduction by animals. Plants have a stamen (“male organ”) and a pistil (“female organ”) in which pollen must travel from the stamen to the pistil. There are various methods to this process with some plants being self-pollinators while others cross-pollinators. Meaning that some produce the pollen they need on their own or they require other plants from the same species for the pollen. Either way, these plants typically require pollinators.
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Everyone knows about the importance of bees and how they are common pollinators, but there are a lot more birds, animals, and insects at work in pollination. For this reason, plants have evolved with various mechanisms to attract different pollinators to ensure their species continues. The most common way is through the lure of candy.

Not the candy you hand out on Halloween, but nature’s similar sweet, nectar. This has led to some interesting pollinators, especially carnivores. A recent discovery found the Cape gray mongoose of South Africa is one of these pollinators. The mongoose does not eat plants for sustenance but is drawn in for a sweet treat. The pollen then sticks to their faces as they go from plant to plant seeking more sweets.
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Some plants open at night and give off strong smells that attract bats. Many tropical fruits are reliant on bats as major pollinators. While the plants have evolved to attract the bats, the animals have likewise evolved to get the nectar. In Ecuador, the tube-lipped bat, whose tongue is longer than it’s body, is a prime example of this. When symbiotic relationships lead to changes in animals this is called coevolution.

Sometimes it is something as simple as the wind that is the method of pollination. Something we in North Carolina are familiar with on those yellow spring days. Plants have found some rather unique ways to survive from one generation to the next, but the preservation of ecosystems remains vital. That means promoting healthy, sustainable practices in your neighborhood and city. For more information on how you can help protect pollinators check our Healthy Bee, Healthy Me program.

 

Pollinator Week Event – Pollinator Friendly Flowers and Plants with Lee Attracting Birds and Bees

Monday June 20th: 430-630pm: Pollinator Friendly Flowers and Plants with Lee Attracting Birds and Bees: Create Art and learn about creating bird and bee friendly urban habitats at The Makery.401 Geer St  http://themakeryatmercury.com

About Lee Attracting Birds and Bees

Lee Moore Crawford is an artist, educator, organic grower, and floral designer dedicated to environmentally supportive practices that enrich the local community. In her booth at The Makery, Lee provides bee friendly, local, and sustainable products that celebrate nature’s beauty and bounty.Lee lives in Durham, and also provides arrangements, bouquets, and event designs with plants that she herself or other local farmers have grown. Lee works at The Makery on Wednesdays from 3-8pm. Stop by then to see what’s fresh at her pop-up flower shop. 

BEEing A Kind Neighbor

People tend to like the work that bees do, but typically do not enjoy when they are around. Bees are an important part of any eco-system as they carry pollen from male plants to female plants. This allows plants to reproduce themselves and continue as a species. The problem is bee behavior can be a bit intimidating to us because of their defensive stingers.

Since the dawn of time people have been attracted to bees sweet honey much like a certain Pooh Bear. The earliest records of beekeeping can be traced back to Ancient Egypt where there are hieroglyphic depictions and stories about beekeeping. The practice of beekeeping continued to grow and was common throughout medieval Europe. Honeybees are not native to North America and were imported sometime during the mid-1600s to the European colonies. They adapted well to North America and have long since been a part of our agriculture, but now they are facing several challenges. Topping the list are the issues of pesticides usage, habitat loss, and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

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People tend to see bees setting up around their homes as a threat to them and their family’s safety. For this reason, people move quickly to eradicate hives or swarms with various poisonous chemicals. Honeybees are not typically aggressive and can be safely removed by experts. If you find a swarm of honeybees and are uncomfortable with how close they are to your home, please contact the Durham County Beekeepers for assistance in relocating them.

Due to the fear of bees and the growth of urban and suburban areas bees are also losing their natural habitats. Bees are fairly adaptable so they will make homes in storm drains, open pipes, and in roof eaves. This is a great aspect of bees but leads to many bad encounters between people and pets. For this reason, communities should maintain green spaces where bees can nest.

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Source: Pixabay

The final issue affecting honeybees is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Scientists continue to debate the cause of CCD, but it is leading to a steady decline in honeybee populations. This is why it is important to work on preserving the bees. CCD is also connected to a major loss of wild bee colonies. This makes the work for beekeepers even more important as they are preserving the species.

Beekeepers alone cannot prevent the loss of bee colonies and there are ways that everyone can help.

  • The biggest way is not to kill honeybees or destroy their hives. If you are concerned about bees being in proximity to your home please do contact someone to relocate the hive.
  • Plant a pollinator garden or bee friendly species around your house. Not only is this a great way to spruce up the yard or neighborhood but also you are helping to protect a vital species to North Carolina. You can find more information here.
  • Advocate for green spaces around your neighborhood. Green spaces not only benefit our wellbeing but the ecosystem’s as well. A healthy, diverse ecosystem makes the area much more sustainable.

These are some of the simple ways to help maintain a healthy, beautiful community. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Keep Durham Beautiful and find out how you can help your neighborhood. There are plenty of projects for all to contribute to making Durham a better community.