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6th Annual Pollinator Day Celebration

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Saturday May 12, 2012

Come join the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association for our 6th Annual Pollinator Day Celebration on Saturday, May 12, from 10:00 a.m. til 2:00 p.m. on The Lawn at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC. The purpose of Pollinator Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of the bees and other pollinators 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.

event site

children at demo table

See a slideshow of photos from our 2011 Pollinator Day!

We have a great program planned for folks of all ages at our local event here in Pittsboro.

Schedule of Activities for Saturday, May 12

(Programs will be on The Lawn at Chatham Mills in front of Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro)

10:30-11:00 a.m.: Basics of Beekeeping – Chatham County Beekeeper

11:00-11:30 a.m.: Beekeeping Demo in Bee Cage – Chatham County Beekeeper

12:00-12:30: Pollinator Garden Tour – Debbie Roos, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

12:30-1:00 p.m.: Mead Making Demo – Starrlight Mead

1:00-1:30 p.m.: Basics of Beekeeping – Chatham County Beekeeper

summer shot of trellis bed
Cooperative Extension’s 
Demonstration Pollinator Garden
 at Chatham Mills

Don Hopkins in the bee cage

Beekeeping demonstration

Educational Programs

You can hear presentations about beekeeping – how to get started, equipment needs, management tips – from expert beekeepers. The talks will be at 10:30 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. Watch expert beekeepers work an actual hive inside a bee cage (bees inside, participants outside!) at 11:00 a.m. and see honey bees up close and personal.

Show & Tell

From 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., feel free to visit the display tables and talk with our Chatham County beekeepers and learn all about what it takes to produce the nutritious and delicious local honey available at Chatham Marketplace. Sample different honeys and other products from the hive, handle beekeeping equipment, learn about alternative pollinatorswatch new bees emerging from honeycomb, and get your burning beekeeping questions answered.

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!

Pollinator Garden Tour

At 12:00 noon, tour Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills and learn how to attract and protect pollinators. The garden contains over 135 different perennials, most of them native to the piedmont of North Carolina. The garden provides three seasons of forage for bees and other pollinators.

Plant Give-Aways!

Mellow Marsh Farm and Cure Nursery donated several perennials and shrubs that will be given away during the day, and Niche Gardens Nursery and Big Bloomers Flower Farmdonated gift certificates and we will be drawing winners for those at 11:00 a.m., noon, 1:00 p.m., and 2:00 p.m. Stop by the Pollinator Garden Table under the big tent to enter these drawings. You must be present to win.

Mead Tasting and Mead Making Demonstration

Ever tried honey wine? Co-sponsors Starrlight Mead will be out on the lawn with us doing amead tasting throughout the day and a mead making demonstration at 12:30 p.m. Visitors can also visit the meadery where they produce their award-winning honey wines on the Chatham Mills property!

Kids’ Activities

Visit our kids’ tent with lots of activities for kids including a plant-a-pollinator-plant, beeswax candle makingface paintingballoon insectstemporary tattoos, Chatham County pollinator coloring books, and more! Watch “Bee TV” – park yourself in front of anobservation hive and watch the worker bees tending to the queen. It’s mesmerizing! Talk to some of our young beekeepers who will be on hand to share their love of beekeeping.

Thanks to Country Farm & Home Supply in Pittsboro for donating supplies for our kids’ pollinator planting activity!

Shane and Calvin Conroy
Kids get a chance to see bees up close!
The newly emerged bees on this frame are not capable of stinging.

kids' activities

Visit Chatham Marketplace the week of May 7 to learn which products depend on bees and other insects for pollination (hint: look at the display on the end cap near the front entrance!).

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 shineClick here for directions.

This event is hosted by Chatham Marketplace.

For more information about pollinator conservation, visit Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Conservation website at www.protectpollinators.org.

Visit the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association website for more information about local beekeeping. For more information about this event, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

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