In celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 16-22), Michigan State University (MSU) hosted the Third Annual Bee Palooza on Sunday, June 22. This interactive event was open to people of all ages to learn more about pollinators by visiting a series of seven stations set up in various parts of the MSU Horticulture Gardens.
Visitors learned about the 400 bee species found in Michigan, viewed the inner workings of both honey bee and bumble bee colonies, learned how to build their own solitary bee nesting box and learned about bee-friendly gardening. In addition, a pollinator-themed face painting and scavenger hunt was offered for the young at heart.
Pollinators play an important role in the production of many crops, including almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, coffee, melons, squash, sunflowers and tomatoes. Some people think only of allergies when they hear about pollen, but pollination — the transfer of pollen grains to fertilize the seed-producing ovaries of flowers — is essential to plant reproduction. Many trees, shrubs and wildflowers depend on bees and other pollinators to move this pollen between flowers.
This annual event was free and open to the public, and more details are available on Bee Palooza’s Facebook page.