Bee friendly — Celebrate World Bee Day

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(Stephanie Myers/Courtesy photo)

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By Denise Cottrell
Special to the Express

Celebrate bees with the Master Gardeners of Yolo County and Winters Community Library (708 Railroad Ave.) on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. for a World Bee Day Event. This celebration, to acknowledge the role of bees in our lives, is one of a series of events offered through June on wildflowers and pollinators funded by a #PlantWildflowers grant provided by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and PBS Nature.

The event will begin with a bilingual bee-themed storytime in the Teaching Garden, followed by a screening of the documentary My Garden of a Thousand Bees, in the Parsons Room. The PBS film, created by acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn, was made when he was locked down by coronavirus. With his lenses turned on the bees in his own garden, Dohrn takes you into the secret life of bees.

What’s so special about World Bee Day? Well, it’s not all about honey bees. Did you know in addition to honey bees, there are more than 20,000 species of native bees in the world and approximately 1,600 native bee species found in California? World Bee Day stresses the protection of all bees, other pollinators, and their habitats.

Bees are responsible for pollinating up to 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants and over one-third of the world’s agricultural species. Bees need our support to stop their world-wide decline. Several factors have contributed to the decline of bees including habitat destruction, increased pesticide use, disease, and climate change. Planting bee friendly plants is a way that everyone can help not only bees, but also other pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies while also providing food, cover, and nesting places for beneficial insects, lizards, mammals, and birds.

The Winters Community Library Teaching Garden is a local pollinator garden with plants that are inviting to bees and other pollinators. The garden is open during library hours and is the perfect place to observe bees at work, pollinating and drinking nectar, and nesting if you are lucky. An additional resource for creating a pollinator garden and bee observation is The Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis (https://beegarden.ucdavis.edu/visit-us/planning/). The link provides information on location, hours, and information on guided tours.

To learn more about these hardworking pollinators and what you can do to support them, check out the book display at the Winters Community Library and Yolo County Library’s special #PlantWildflowers collection of digital eBooks and eAudibooks on OverDrive: https://yolocounty.overdrive.com/collection/1322785.

Ready to celebrate bees? Be a part of the celebration on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Winters Community Library. Let’s start the party with stories and a movie, all about bees.

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