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Bees and other pollinators are critical for sustaining ecosystems all over the world. In fact, they are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of the foods we eat! Most pollinators are insects, but they also include birds, bats, and small mammals. These creatures visit flowers to either drink nectar or feed of pollen. As they do so, they transport the pollen grains while moving from place to place.
These critters provide this free, invaluable ecosystem service but they are increasingly being threatened by loss of their feeding and nesting habitats, pollution, misuse of chemicals, and a changing climate.
We are promoting pollinators as a critical component to a healthy watershed. Here are some resources for further learning.
· Video: Bring Back the Pollinators from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation https://youtu.be/chvXwNbs3SA
· Southern Rockies Seed Network https://www.southernrockiesseed.org/
· Pikes Peak Beekeepers Association www.pikespeakbeekeepers.org
· Western Apiculture Society: https://westernapiculturalsociety.org/
· Black Forest Honey: www.blackforesthoney.com B lack Forest Honey also provides bee and swarm removal services on a case by case basis.
· Teaching kids the importance of bees www.avasflowers.net/teaching-kids-about-the-importance-of-honeybees
· Buckley’s Homestead Supply www.buckleyshomesteadsupply.com
· Mile High Bug Club www.milehighbugclub.org
· Colorado Native Plant Society www.conps.org Southeast chapter https://conps.org/about-us/chapters/southeast-chapter/
· Colorado Federation of Garden Clubs https://coloradogardenclubs.org/garden-clubs/
· Manitou Springs Pollinator Project www.themspp.com
· Manitou Springs Seed Library https://ppld.org/recommended-websites/manitou-springs-seed-library
· Flying Pig Farm www.facebook.com/flyingpigmanitou/
· Denver Butterfly Pavilion www.butterflies.org
· Colorado State Extension Office www.extension/colostate.edu
· Colorado Parks and Wildlife www.cpw.state.co.us
· Pollinator Week: https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week
· Audubon Rockies Habitat Hero www.rockies.audubon.org/habitat-hero
· iNaturalist www.inaturalist.com look for Fountain Creek Watershed Biodiversity Survey
Local Demonstration Gardens
· Self-guided activity stations at Colorado Springs Utilities Demonstration Gardens – registration required. https://www.csu.org/Pages/FacilityTours.aspx
· El Paso County Parks – Bear Creek and Fountain Creek Nature Centers www.communityservices.elpasoco.com/nature-centers