Feed a Bee Takes Orlando: Celebrating Pollinators with Online Influencers

How many of us can say that we’ve planted pollinator-attractant flowers to support an urban vegetable garden, or witnessed the inner workings of a honey bee hive without having to wear protective gear? That’s exactly what Feed a Bee’s recent event, in partnership with urban farming group Fleet Farming, was all about.

With the annual Bayer AgVocacy Forum taking place in sunny, warm Orlando near the end of February, it gave us the perfect opportunity to engage the local community and get planting season started early! Feed a Bee hosted a group of Orlando-based social media influencers and their children for a day of digging in the dirt, observing a beehive up close and learning more about how everyone can help provide food and habitat for pollinators.

Buzzing Around a Hive

With the help of UCF Arboretum Director Patrick Bohlen, the event showcased beekeeping equipment, including a beekeeper’s suit and an observation hive, where kids and parents alike could look for the queen bee and learn about how different types of bees within the colony contribute to its survival. Observation hives make it easy to safely learn and observe about bee colonies without the need for protective gear.

 

kids observing bees

 

Photo Credit: Simply Today Life

 

Playing in the Dirt

Preparations for spring would not be complete without planting flowers. The Feed a Bee mission is to provide forage, or food, for pollinators by planting pollinator-attracting wildflowers, so event attendees helped support that mission. It’s also vital to plant pollinator-attracting flowers near or around areas where crops that require pollination (most fruits and vegetables) grow. While one group helped establish a new pollinator garden on location at Kaley Square Community Center, another planted wildflowers in take-home pots so that they could continue feeding pollinators from their home gardens.

family planting
two potted plants

Photo Credit: Simply Today Life

A Little Taste of Honey

After the planting and immersion into the world of beekeeping, attendees were invited inside to taste several local honey varietals, paired with cheeses and pollinated foods, such as berries and almonds. This served as a “lightbulb” moment for many in the room who suddenly realized that some of their favorite foods need the help of honey bees, birds and other important pollinators that are vital to our food supply.

How Everyone Can Help

Our invited guests were encouraged to share their experience on their social media accounts and personal blogs. To get a glimpse of their photos and what they learned during the event, be sure to check out #FeedABee on Instagram. Hopefully, you too will be inspired to begin feeding your local pollinators by planting wildflowers. Even a small window box or potted plant on your front stoop would help!

Wondering where to begin? Check out the Feed a Bee resources page to determine which plants work best in your area.