From Plant Press, Vol. 18, No. 3, July 2015.
National Pollinator Week 2015 was celebrated June 15-21 in an effort to raise awareness of the decline in important pollinator populations. The National Museum of Natural History held a number of events throughout the week, including a Pollination Party in the Butterfly Habitat Garden, “Expert is In!” programs throughout the museum, and a Bumble Bee Blitz in Q?rius to transcribe bumble bee records. Many of the events moved beyond simply raising awareness, giving participants opportunities to contribute towards pollinator protection.
The Pollination Party, held on June 16 in the Butterfly Habitat Garden, brought attention to native bees and butterflies. Partnering with the PollinaTerps from the University of Maryland, university students hosted a variety of activities, including quizzes, crafts, and the chance to take home seeds to start local urban butterfly habitats. The party also offered a history of beekeeping by graduate students from American University, posters featuring fun facts about pollinators, and meet and greet with a tobacco hornworm caterpillar from the Smithsonian Insect Zoo. The PollinaTerps current project focuses on restoring habitat for the imperiled Baltimore checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas phaeton, the official state insect of Maryland.