Disappearing Bees: Informative Online Bee-a-thon

http://www.motherearthliving.com/In-the-Garden/disappearing-bees-online-bee-a-thon.aspx

L.HoltIf you’re a frequent Herb Companion reader you’ve probably noticed that we like bees. Beneficial insects are instrumental to a healthy garden, a bountiful harvest and a prospering ecosystem. They’re among the first contributors to favorite foods beyond the obvious honey, like chocolate, avocados, apples and watermelon, as well as the alfalfa that feeds much of the U.S. cattle population. Bees and beneficial insects eat annoying garden pests and contribute to a thriving, beautiful landscape.

But they’re also facing some serious threats. 

We’ve had a few articles and blogs about this issue recently: Rhonda Fleming Hayes wrote about planting herbs to encourage pollinators for our June/July 2011 issue, and Patsy Bell Hobson shared information about The Great Sunflower Project here on our gardening blog. This Saturday (July 16), there’ll be another opportunity to learn about bees and what we can do to help sustain their suffering populations.

It’s called the Bee-a-thon, a sort of online symposium, and I first became aware of it through our sister title, Mother Earth NewsMother Earth News has partnered with Your Garden Show to give gardeners a chance to connect online with other gardeners around the world, sharing their stories, photos, videos and experience.  The Bee-a-thon is a Your Garden Show initiative, and will take place between 9 am and 9 pm US Pacific Time on July 16. It looks like a great chance to learn from experts in everything from beekeeping and conservation to science and education. It’s supposed to be an interactive opportunity for people to ask questions and present ideas about the importance of bees and the challenges they face.

07-13-2011-2
The online Bee-a-thon event will promote education about these helpful pollinators.
Photo by Andre Lardon/ Courtesy
Flickr 

I’m going to be tuning in on Saturday, and I’ll write about it next week, but I doubt I’ll be able to catch the whole 12 hours. If you want to experience it for yourself, even just for a few minutes, you can RSVP for the event here on the Mother Earth News website (It’s free and open to everyone). If you have a blog you can get a bee-o-meter widget to track bee populations in your zipcode as part of an effort to count bees nationwide.

The Bee-a-thon will also mark the start of the Great Bee Count, a conservation campaign by Citizen Science. It looks like a pretty cool program, and it’s part of The Great Sunflower Project. too.  

Hope to “see” you there!