April 18-22, 2016
The EEAC’s environmental theme for Earth Week 2016 is Beneficial Bugs. Beneficial Bugs are insects that help out in growing food by eating pests on plants to eliminate pesticide use and pollinating them at the same time. There will be a special emphasis on Lady Bugs and Honey Bees. Lady Bugs love to eat pests like aphids and help fight plant disease. Bees, of course, make honey but they also pollinate 75% of food crops in the US. We can thank Honey Bees for one in every three bites of food we eat!Unfortunately, bees are in trouble! They have been disappearing and dying at alarming rates. This is called Colony Collapse Disorder, CCD, and has resulted in a loss of 1/3 of bee populations. There are multiple interacting causes including: pesticide use, stress that leads to disease, immune system damage, and habitat loss. Being a Keystone indicator species, their decline points to and will likely accelerate broader environmental degradation in a kind of ripple effect. Honey bees are sounding an alarm that if we ignore could lead to peril.
We need to protect bees!To support bees, we will have a “Coins for Change” drive to benefit The Bee Buffer Project. A Bee Buffer is a piece of land 0.25 to 3 acres in size that is planted with a U.S. Bee Buffer seed mix. When beekeepers are not in pollination contracts they struggle to find foraging areas to feed their bees. The lack of dedicated foraging habitat puts stress on Honey bees and the cropping systems the bees pollinate. To support Honey bee health and our own food systems, the U.S. Bee Buffer Project invites qualified applicants to grow honey bee forage habitats in agricultural areas. This planned network of dedicated bee buffers will support the industry and improve crops and flowering plants for miles.
Earth Week activities planned for our students and parents:
• Students will plant wildflowers in compostable pots that they can take home and plant directly into the soil. These bee friendly plants are food for bees. Remember no pesticides!
• Participate in the “Coins for Change” drive to benefit the Bee Buffer Project. The classroom that donates the most money will get a classroom visit from Nature of Wild Works.
• Walk to School with teachers on Wednesday, April 22nd . There will be a pollinator friendly snack when they arrive to school.
• Explore new library books about Ladybugs, Bees and other Beneficial Bugs.
• Experience special storybooks, lessons, and activities about pollinators.
• Sign up to volunteer on Big Sunday and help to plant a pollinator garden at your school.
• Have Dinner Discussions and Watch Movies about supporting Bees.
- Pollinator Partnership The Pollinator Partnership is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and the largest in the world dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. The Pollinator Partnership's mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), S.H.A.R.E., National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides. (Pollinator Plants for CA Coastal Chapparal)
Pollinator Live The goal of PollinatorLIVE: A Distance Learning Adventure is to meet national science education standards and promote conservation action through education and awareness.
- Cornell University Biological Control Kids Page The goal of this effort is to extend the delivery of biological control information to the widest possible audience of researchers, extension personnel, educators, land managers, growers, and the general public. In this guide, up-to-date text and pictures of natural enemies can be accessed world-wide. Such ready access will help in the development and delivery of educational material and will assist in the development, collation and integration of databases of value to biological control.
- The Lost Ladybug Project
- Bees in Crisis