Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Sweet It Is: FWS Teaches Students About Pollinator Conservation

Submitted by: Jeff Chan

On a recent warm, spring day in Olympia, Washington, students at GRuB farm donned space-aged looking suits as they prepared to step into the world of the honeybee. 

Students walk the path to the honey bee hive.  Photo credit: Teal Waterstrat (USFWS)
With the assistance of Teal Waterstrat, a Pathways Technician with the Service, we showed the group the inner workings of a honeybee hive - home to one of our nation's greatest pollinators.

The students were entranced as they watched different members of the honeybee colony up close and personal; workers, drones, and especially the queen, were all surveyed carefully under their inquisitive eyes. We also saw the different life stages and behaviors exhibited by the bees and the constant activity taking place within the hive.

Students examine the inner workings of a honeybee hive. Photo credit: Teal Waterstrat (USFWS)
Honeybees, farming, and native pollinator conservation all go hand in hand. If done sustainably, they support one another in addition to conserving wildlife habitat and open spaces. Protecting and integrating patches of diverse foraging habitat for honey bees also supports our local native pollinators such as orchard mason bees, bumblebees, butterflies, and humming birds.

USFWS Biologist Jeff Chan, shows students a honeycomb. Photo credit: Teal Waterstrat (USFWS)
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Office would like to thank the USFWS Connecting People With Nature small grants program for supporting our work in the community. The Service and GRuB believe our missions can complement one another, and so far our partnership is looking to be a sweet success!  (Pun fully intended.)

Close up of honeybee hive. Photo credit: Teal Waterstrat (USFWS)
For more information on our role in pollinator conservation visit: http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/
For more information on GRuB farm visit: http://goodgrub.org/

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