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Rhode Island is Buzzing About Pollinators!

Audubon Celebrates National Pollinator Week

Speakers Launch the Rally on the State House Steps:
Tuesday, June 19, 2018; 2:00 – 2:15 pm
Bee Rally in the State House:
Tuesday, June 19, 2018; 2:15 – 4:00 pm
State House lit in Bumblebee Black and Yellow:
June 18 – 24, 2018

Why is the Rhode Island State House being lit up like a bumblebee in June?
The Audubon Society of Rhode Island will celebrate National Pollinator Week by hosting a Bee Rally in the State House and lighting up the dome in black and yellow. That big striped State House Dome will “bee” hard to miss in June!

So why all the buzz about pollinators?
Populations of bees, butterflies and other pollinator insects are in steep decline due to the loss of habitat, pollution, misuse of chemicals, disease and change in climatic patterns. It has become a global crisis. Over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1,200 crops depend on their services to thrive. That means pollinators support one out of every three bites of food on your plate. Here in Rhode Island, locally grown blueberries, cranberries, pumpkins, squash and other flowers, fruits and vegetables depend on pollinators. When you sprinkle those fresh blueberries on your cereal in the morning, you can thank these little insects. You can also take action.

Learn more about Pollinators!

Rhode Island State House Lit in Bumblebee Black and Yellow
June 18 – 24, 2018
Watch for the State House Dome to be transformed into a GIANT black and yellow bumblebee.

Speakers Launch the Rally
June 19, 2018; 2:00 – 2:15 pm
A speakers program launches the Rally on the State House Steps at 2:00 pm.
(Speakers to be confirmed)

Bee Rally in the Rhode Island State House Rotunda
June 19, 2018; 2:15 – 4:00 pm
Come to this FREE family-friendly Bee Rally and learn all about pollinators and why they are so important to our health, environment and economy. Discover what the State is doing to support healthy habitat, meet local beekeepers, gardeners, farmers and organizations that support these insects and their important work in nature.Bee Rally 2018Performances:
- Providence Improv Guild; 3:00 – 3:30 pm
- Local artist Lindsay Adler performs as Mother Nature; 3:30 – 4:00 pm.

Rally Participants:
Audubon Society of Rhode Island, Whole Foods Market, Groundwork RI, RI Beekeepers Association, RI Natural History Survey, RI Nursery and Landscape Association, The Empowerment Factory, Netwalk RI, RI Farm Bureau, Cluck! Farm, Garden and Home, URI Master Gardener Program, RI Department of Transportation, RI Department of Environmental Management Fish and Wildlife, Eco RI News, Natural Resources Conservation Service RI, Rhode Island College Bee Education Center, RI Food Policy Council, Design Under Sky, North Kingstown Groundwater Committee, Little Rhody Beekeeping, Big Blue Bug Solutions, RI Department of Health and more.

June Pollinator Programs with Audubon
Visit the events calendar for additional details and to register.

- Pollinator Palooza for Families / Citizens Bank Free Family Fun Day
Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium*, Bristol, RI
June 2, 2018; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

- Summer Solstice Celebration with Mead and Honey Tastings
Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium*, Bristol, RI
June 21, 2018; 7:30 – 9:30 pm. Registration required.

- Make Your Own Pollinator Seed Bombs
Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium*, Bristol, RI
June 22, 2018; 10:30-11:30 am. Registration required.

- Caratunk Summer Fields and Forests Walk
Audubon Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, Seekonk, MA
June 18, 2018; 9:30 am – 12:00 pm. Registration Required.

- Butterfly Walk at Caratunk
Audubon Caratunk Wildlife Refuge, Seekonk, MA
June 24, 2018; 10:00 am – 12:30 pm. Registration required.

- Butterflies of Prudence Island
Prudence Island, RI
June 28, 2018; 1:30 – 6:30 pm. Registration required.

- New! Audubon Pollinator Discovery Garden
Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium*, Bristol, RI
Discover the world of pollinators in a quiet gathering place of wildflowers, a native vegetable garden and set in a cove of apple trees. Surrounded by a matrix of tall grasses and meadow wildflowers, visitors will able to observe wildlife, learn about pollinators and relax in nature. Developed by renowned garden designer John Gwynne of Little Compton, phase one has begun and work will continue throughout the summer as additional plantings and elements are added.

How can you help pollinators?

There are simple ways that people can help these vital insects survive. Listed below are a few suggestions from the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

Landscape and garden with native plants that provide food for pollinators.
Suggested native plants that attract bees include aster, black-eyed Susan, lupine, purple coneflower, rhododendron, sunflower, sweet pepperbush and more. Ask your local nursery to help you select native plants for your garden and landscaping.

Keep flowers blooming through spring, summer and fall.
Try to select a wide variety of plants to keep food sources available through the seasons. Don’t forget to plant pollinator-friendly window boxes and containers on decks and patios.

Reduce or eliminate pesticide use.
Remember that pesticides and herbicides used in yards and landscaping to reduce weeds and common pests also kill bees, butterflies and beneficial insects.

Leave dead tree trunks or logs in your landscape whenever possible.
These fallen tree trunks and branches provide homes for wood-nesting bees and beetles.

Support Environmental Conservation
Audubon actively manages habitat on wildlife refuges and develops gardens to encourage pollinator populations.

The Bee Rally and State House Lighting are sponsored by:

Whole Foods MarketRhode Island Beekeeper's AssociationRhode Island Farm BureauRhode Island Natural History Survey


* Audubon Society of Rhode Island announces that the Audubon Environmental Education Center in Bristol is now called: The Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium
It’s a more welcoming name – one that Audubon feels better describes the exhibits, activities and visitor experience at the Center in Bristol.