Thursday, June 2, 2011

Expert Gardeners to Teach the Importance of Bees

The Penn State Master Gardeners will visit the Allegheny County Courtyard next Wednesday to teach gardeners about both native plants and native pollinators.

Director of the Penn State Extension of Allegheny County Michael Masiuk says it’s important to grow native species because those are the plants easiest for bees to pollinate.

Masiuk says about one-third of pollination is caused by native pollinators, like bees and some beetles. He says gardeners should value bees, especially because their populations have been reduced by a phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder.”

“Entire bee colonies would disappear,” says Masiuk. “You would just have no sign of the bees at all, and it was kind of a mystery. They’re attributing it to many different things. And beekeepers are experiencing a loss of bees over the wintertime, so it’s bringing more attention to the use of native pollinators.”

Masiuk says the first 50 visitors will also receive a free native perennial.

The “Bee Wise…Plant Natives” program will run from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Courthouse.

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