Community Garden Pollination Program

Community Garden Pollination Program

Overview

Community Garden Pollination Program

Growing food in community and school gardens can provide people with more access to healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables. Our Community Garden Pollination Program encourages community and school garden organizers to raise awareness of solitary bees by installing bee houses and providing educational programming to their communities. Organizations and educational agencies receive specialized program updates and free access to high-quality educational materials to use in community and school gardens.

WHY INCLUDE SOLITARY BEES IN YOUR GARDEN

Most people are unaware of solitary hole-nesting bees, and this program is a wonderful way to introduce these super-pollinators to your community. By placing a solitary bee house in your garden, you'll pique interest, educate the public, and raise awareness of some of our most important pollinators.

The spring mason bees and summer leafcutter bees that we offer are perfect for school and community gardens because:

  • Solitary bees are docile and rarely sting, making them safe around children, families, and pets. On the off chance they do sting, the pain is mild and similar to a mosquito bite.
  • Solitary bees are more efficient pollinators of certain plants and crops than honey bees and have been shown to increase crop yields. Increasing garden yields may help provide food access to a higher number of community members.
  • Urban gardens can play an important role in pollination conservation. Bees need the pollen and nectar that gardens provide, and gardens need the pollination services that bees provide.
  • Raising solitary bees is a way for people of all ages to learn about the pollination services of bees, connect with nature, and contribute to solitary bee conservation efforts.

PROGRAM GOALS

  1. To highlight the importance and role of solitary bees in food production and ecosystem services, and create awareness within the community of the need for conservation of solitary, wild bees.
  2. To increase access to healthy fruits and vegetables in food-insecure areas by using solitary bees to increase crop yields of school and community gardens across the country.
  3. To provide high-quality educational resources and activities, at no cost, to help organizations and educational agencies raise awareness within their communities of the benefits of solitary bees.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Fill out the application form below and once approved, you'll be added to our mailing list to receive information on community garden programming, and upcoming community garden discounts.
  2. Check out our Getting Started Buying Guide in the Solitary Bee Resource Library to help you plan what you'll need based on the size and purpose of your garden. If you're new to solitary bee raising, we have a variety of How-To Guides in the Resource Library to help you learn everything you'll need to know to be successful.
  3. Visit our Solitary Bee Resource Library to access and download FREE teaching materials and activities. Use these resources to teach your community about the important role of solitary bees in food production.
  4. As part of our community and school garden program, you'll receive bi-monthly newsletters (6/year) that will highlight solitary bee tips, reminders, and educational materials.

Garden visitors are sure to fall in love with these gentle pollinators! Please feel free to send success stories or questions to [email protected].

Happy Pollinating!

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