Tohono Chul is holding its fourth annual Adopt-A-Bee program. The whimsical program, which allows participants to “adopt” and name a native bee, helps Tohono Chul communicate its passion for preservation and conservation. Adopt-A-Bee aims to increase awareness of the various native bee species in Southern Arizona, and to promote the importance of bees as they sustain the local and international food economy. Tohono Chul relies heavily on a plethora of bee species to facilitate plant pollination, whether for food sourcing from its ethnobotany garden, for the surrounding grounds featuring native plants, or to sustain products for its retail greenhouse. Visit www.tohonochul.org/bee to adopt and name your bee.
Bee adoptions include an exclusive invitation to Tohono Chul’s Pollinator Party on Friday, June 21, 6-8 p.m. The party will feature a regional honey bar by True Love Honey and live music with La Cerca. Guests can also enjoy molecular gastronomy with bee pollen and honeycomb by the Garden Bistro along with bites from its newly launched Happy Hour menu. Discuss urban beekeeping with representatives of See the Bees, who are committed to raising awareness of honeybees and all that they do, and talk with local experts Stephen Buchmann and Greg Corman about attracting native bees to your yard. Guests also will have the chance to have their photo taken on a 5-foot cactus bee and check out chalk poetry art by Urban Poetry Pollinators.
The party promotes National Pollinator Week, June 17-23, which highlights bats, birds, butterflies, and bees for their contributions to our ecosystems. It is estimated that 90 percent of all flowering plants depend on animal pollinators to help them reproduce, and that includes about 35 percent of the world’s food. In the United States, the pollination services provided by honeybees and other insects directly impact 150 different food crops and result in $20 billion worth of agricultural products each year.