Wyoming PBS and Science Kids are Celebrating Native Bees with Film Screening and Events at Sheridan College

(Courtesy photo)

Wyoming PBS and Science Kids are excited to host an all-ages, free screening of My Garden of a Thousand Bees as part of Science Saturday: Blooms for Bees and Butterflies on May 21, 2022 at Sheridan College’s Kinnison Hall in the Whitney Center for the Arts.

Bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in nature, pollinating fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers that are essential to both human agriculture and wild ecosystems. But these important pollinators are facing challenges from habitat and food supply decline, pesticides, and more. At Science Saturday: Blooms for Bees and Butterflies attendees will experience the beauty and biodiversity of native bees and learn how to support these important local pollinators.

The event starts off at 1pm with a screening of the PBS Nature documentary, My Garden of a Thousand Bees. Locked down during the coronavirus pandemic, acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn set out to record all the bee species in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England. Filming with one-of-a-kind lenses he forged at his kitchen table, he catalogs more than 60 different species, from Britain’s largest bumblebees to scissor bees the size of mosquitoes. Over long months, Dohrn observes how differences in behavior set different species apart. He eventually gets so close to the bees he can identify individuals by sight, documenting life at their level as we have never seen it before.

“We are thrilled to be co-hosting this event with Science Kids as part of their recurring outreach programming Science Saturday,” said Jennifer Amend, Marketing and Outreach Director for Wyoming PBS. “Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we will be following the screening of My Garden of a Thousand Bees with a Q&A with the filmmaker Martin Dohrn, PBS Nature Executive Producer Fred Kaufman, and World Wildlife Fund Educational Expert Katy Fenn. Audience members will be able to ask questions in real time to these esteemed panelists.”

Blooms for Bees and Butterflies is meant to inspire and energize our community to build a little piece of the world Martin has built,” said Julie Rieder, Executive Director for Science Kids. “Four learning stations provided by regional experts will give attendees simple and direct actions they can take now to positively impact their landscapes for native plants and pollinators, even if they only have space for one-square foot, or one balcony flower pot. The half-day event ends with a celebration over sweets and sips at a Planting Party, as we seed 3,500 square feet in native wildflowers at Sheridan College’s Ag Field Lab.”

We are pleased to offer this screening and day of activities as part of the nationwide #PlantWildflowers campaign that highlights the critical role bees and other pollinators play in healthy ecosystems. In support of the film, My Garden of a Thousand Bees, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and PBS Nature launched the #PlantWildflowers campaign to encourage communities across the U.S. to better understand the importance of native bees and other pollinators and to create new pollinator habitats where pollinators can thrive. 

Wyoming PBS and Science Kids will continue to support our local pollinators over the summer  with a week-long Science Kids class “Precious Plants and Powerful Pollinators” June 20-23. Students in this class will be eligible to join Science Kids’ Pollinator Patrol, which will involve monitoring the Blooms for Bees and Butterflies wildflower garden on the Sheridan College campus and contributing their findings to iNaturalist.  Wyoming PBS will also be taping during this week-long class for a new episode of Nature WY, the educational digital series that brings outdoor discoveries in science and nature to 6 to 8 year old children throughout Wyoming.

This initiative is far-reaching, with the community invited to join in by planting native wildflower seeds, and tracking what blooms and the creatures that visit by joining Science Kids’ iNaturalist project:  TrackYourBs#Plantwildflowers.  Submit your photographs to the iNaturalist project, and become part of a nation-wide Community Science effort in support of native pollinators.

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