Aiming to protect bee biodiversity in the United States and improve the public’s environmental knowledge, The Honeybee Conservancy has partnered with 10 beekeeping organizations nationwide to launch BeeBlitz. BeeBlitz will be a nationwide series of events, inviting citizens to gather and document the diversity of bee species in their local areas.
The BeeBlitz kickoff event will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 on Governors Island, a 172-acre island in New York Harbor that has been transformed from an abandoned former military base into a model of sustainable design and resiliency.
At the kickoff event on Governors Island, visitors will meet at the new Bee Sanctuary, which is home to over a dozen bee species. From here, guests will be able to take a self-guided tour through the island, with a map highlighting key spots to look for bees, such as the Earth Matter Lavender Field, the only one of its kind in all five boroughs of NYC.
During each BeeBlitz event, participants will be asked to photograph bees that they discover using the iNaturalistapp, effectively helping to build a biodiversity database for native bees. The iNaturalist app is a free tool that has helped nature enthusiasts identify insects, animals and plants, and record and share their observations creating research quality data to better understand nature.
“A growing body of research has revealed that more than 40% of insect pollinators are highly threatened globally, including our native bees. BeeBlitz is designed to provide ‘bee literacy,’ which is critical in our conservation efforts,” states Guillermo Fernandez, Executive Director of the Honeybee Conservancy. “BeeBlitz will mobilize bee advocates nationwide and provide eye-opening data that can be used for conservation planning, environmental education, and insight into the richness of our urban ecosystems”
One in three bites of food we eat depends entirely on bees – but nearly 1 in 4 North American bee species are imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. And while 99% of people believe that bees are critical or important, only 14% are able to guess within 1,000 the actual number of bee species in the U.S.
Along with NewYorkCity, cities across the country are participating in BeeBlitz, includingDetroit, Iowa City, Chicago and Colorado Springs.
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