Auburn Parks and Recreation is teaming up with the College of Agriculture to host Bee Auburn, a week dedicated to pollinators and their impact.
Lining up with national pollinator week, Bee Auburn aims to educate people about how important bees and other pollinators are to everyday life for most people.
“It’s a celebration of pollinators and their impact on our daily lives whether that’s economically, historically, socially or culturally,” said Whitney Morris, aquatics and special events coordinator for the Auburn and Opelika tourism bureau.
The week of June 19 through June 23 will feature educational workshops taught by members of the College of Agriculture and walks through different “bee spots” around Auburn like the Davis Arboretum, Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest and Louise Kreher Preserve and Nature Center.
“We call these bee spots because it’s very familiar,” Morris said. “When I say pollinator everybody automatically thinks of bees and honey, but one thing that I have learned is that pollinators are not just bees. They’re also birds, bats, flies and moths.”
The events all week will lead to a block party in the Gay Street Municipal parking lot with live music, vendors and an interactive walk through downtown Auburn allowing participants to see the economic impact of pollinators at the source.
Morris and her colleague Bashira Chowdhury, a pollination ecologist in the department of entomology at the University, never expected this event to growers much as it has. Hosting Bee Auburn during national pollinator week, the duo brought awareness not only to Auburn, but to all of Alabama as well.
“We submitted the event to the Pollinator Partnership which is like the non-profit organization that educates people on how to create pollinator gardens and about pollinators in general,” Morris said. “We have worked with the governor’s office in Montgomery and actually had Alabama pollinator week declared for that same week, and then worked with the mayors office to have Auburn pollinator week declared too.”
Morris said she is so dedicated to the project because she realizes that pollinators play such a major role in all parts of life, and she believes Bee Auburn will allow people to see those connections first-hand.
“If you had coffee this morning, you can thank moths for that,” Morris said. “For people that like tequila, the agave plant that it’s made from is actually pollinated by bats.”