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June 24, 2009

Chatham Extension center, beekeepers celebrate pollinators

bees in a hive

Come join the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association for the third annual celebration of National Pollinator Week on Saturday, June 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on The Lawn at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro.

The purpose of National Pollinator Week is to teach pollinator-friendly practices and raise public awareness of the importance of the bees, beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, birds and bats that are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our human food crops. The National Academy of Sciences has reported that there is direct evidence of the decline of some pollinator species in North America. And recently, Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees has alarmed the agricultural industry.

Activities for folks of all ages are planned for this event in Pittsboro:

* Hear presentations about beekeeping – how to get started, equipment needs, management tips – from local beekeepers.

* Tour Cooperative Extension’s new Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills and learn how to attract and protect pollinators.

* Watch expert beekeepers work an actual hive inside a bee cage (bees inside, participants outside!), see honey bees up close and personal, and get your burning beekeeping questions answered.

* Participate in a pollinator-themed Scavenger Hunt for kids!

* Watch “Bee TV” - park yourself in front of an observation hive and watch the worker bees attending the queen. It’s mesmerizing!

* Meet Chatham County beekeepers and learn all about what it takes to produce the nutritious and delicious local honey available at Chatham Marketplace. We will have beekeeping equipment and products from the hive to show and tell.

* Visit Chatham Marketplace to learn which products depend on bees for pollination (hint: look for the bee signs).

* Pick up some educational literature to further your knowledge about honey bees, beekeeping, pollinators, and pollinator conservation.

* Learn about the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association and how you can get involved with this fabulously friendly group through monthly meetings and field days and even an email listserv. We welcome members of all skill levels -- from never-tried-it (but always wanted to) to beginner to experienced!

* Enjoy a pollinator-friendly local lunch at Chatham Marketplace during the program! Did you know that worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, spices, fiber and medicine require pollination by animals?

All Pollinator Week Events are free and open to the public. This event will be held rain or shine. For directions, go to chathammarketplace.coop/location.

This event is sponsored by Chatham Mills Development Corporation, www.chathammills.com, and hosted by Chatham Marketplace, www.chathammarketplace.coop.

For more information about pollinator conservation, visit Cooperative Extension’s Web site at www.protectpollinators.org.

Visit the Chatham Beekeepers’ Association Web site at www.chathambeekeepers.org.

For more information about this event, contact Debbie Roos at 919.542.8202 or debbie_roos@ncsu.edu.

Posted by Natalie at June 24, 2009 10:15 AM