Bee Auburn, a Celebration of Pollinators

Blog
Whitney Morris
City of Auburn
6/5/2017

Bee Auburn, a Celebration of Pollinators

When most of us think about pollinators and pollination, we focus on the basics: bees, flowers and pollen. The truth is that pollinators are a much more varied and diverse group of animals and most of them have a direct impact on our daily lives in ways we never consider. 

Birds, bats, butterflies, flies, moths and, of course, bees count themselves among the ranks of pollinators. These animals are a part of the fundamental processes of pollination, helping us grow food, fibers and other necessary plants for our society.

How is it that we interact with pollinators in our everyday lives? A few examples.

If you need that routine morning cup of coffee to face the day, then moths are a vital part of your life. This is because the coffee plant requires moth pollination to grow.

At the end of a long workweek, some of us may head downtown for a quick drink with friends or coworkers. If you favor tequila as your drink of choice, then you can thank a bat. Bats help with the pollination of the agave plant, which is the first incarnation of tequila.

Bee Auburn, a celebration of pollinators and their impact on our health, history, culture, society and economy, is a joint project between the Auburn University College of Agriculture and the City of Auburn. Bee Auburn will take place during the week of June 19 – 23, coinciding with National Pollinator Week, Alabama Pollinator Week and Auburn Pollinator Week, which all take place June 19 – 25.

Throughout the week, Bee Auburn will host small events and activities at local “Bee Spots,” which are places around Auburn that demonstrate high instances of pollinator activity. These Bee Spots are places like the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, Louise Kreher Nature Preserve & Center and Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest, among others. Events will feature pollinator-related food and beverage tastings, walks, lectures and a community barbeque.

The week will culminate in the Bee Auburn main event; a street fair-styled block party in the Gay Street parking lot on Friday, June 23 from 6 – 10 p.m. featuring live music by 8 Track Rewind, pollinator-related vendors, a farmers market, photography exhibition and the Pollinator Path. The Pollinator Path is an interactive walk through downtown and designed to highlight the impact that pollinators have on our local economy. Participants will pick up maps from the Bee Auburn tent in the Gay Street parking lot (which will be located next to the stage) and visit stops on the path to answer questions listed on the map. These stops will be local businesses in the downtown area. Once finished, they will return their sheets to the Bee Auburn tent to be graded and maps with all-correct answers will be entered into a drawing for prizes.

To learn more about Bee Auburn, or to become a vendor, please visit auburnalabama.org/parks or contact Bee Auburn Co-Coordinator Whitney Morris at wmorris@auburnalabama.org.

 

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