By Debbie Roos
Pittsboro, NC – Come join the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association for our 9th Annual Pollinator Day Celebration on Saturday, May 14, from 9 am until 1 pm on the lawn next to the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC. The purpose of our popular Pollinator Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of the bees and other pollinators that are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our human food crops. The event is co-sponsored by Starrlight Mead.
We have a great program planned for folks of all ages and all activities are free!
You can hear a presentation about beekeeping – how to get started, equipment needs, management tips – from experienced beekeepers. Watch an expert beekeeper work an actual hive inside a bee cage (bees inside, participants outside!) and see honey bees up close and personal. Learn about what to plant in your garden to attract butterflies and bees and other pollinators. Tour Cooperative Extension’s demonstration Pollinator Paradise Garden at Chatham Mills and get a close look at visiting pollinators. Sample delicious foods made with local honey and get recipes for how to cook with honey. Learn about native bees and butterflies.
All Pollinator Day activities are free and open to the public. This event will be held rain or shine.
Address for the event: 480 Hillsboro St. Pittsboro, NC 27312.
You can hear presentations about beekeeping – how to get started, equipment needs, management tips – from expert beekeepers. Watch an expert beekeeper work an actual hive inside a bee cage (bees inside, participants outside!) and see honey bees up close and personal. Learn about what to plant in your garden to attract butterflies and bees and other pollinators. Sample delicious baked goods made with local honey and get recipes for how to cook with honey.
Educational Program Schedule:
The Beekeeping Demo in the Bee Cage will be ongoing throughout the morning.
- 10:00-10:30 am: Pollinator Garden Tour – Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension
- 11:00-11:30 am: Basics of Beekeeping – Judy Pick, Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association
- 12:00-12:30 pm: Mead Making Demo – Ben and Becky Starr, Starrlight Mead
Show & Tell
From 9:00 am-1:00 pm, feel free to visit the display tables and talk with our Chatham County beekeepers and learn all about what it takes to produce the nutritious and delicious local honey available at Chatham Marketplace. Sample different honeys and foods made with honey, handle beekeeping equipment, learn about native bees, watch new bees emerging from honeycomb, and get your burning beekeeping questions answered. Local author Annette Meredith will be there with copies of her book Saving the Bees.
Pick up some educational literature to further your knowledge about honey bees, beekeeping, pollinators, and pollinator conservation. Learn about the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association and how you can get involved with this fabulously friendly group through monthly meetings and field days and even an email listserv – we welcome members of all skill levels: from never-tried-it (but always wanted to) to beginner to experienced!
Pollinator Garden Tour
At 10:00 am, Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos will give a tour of Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Garden at Chatham Mills and discuss how to attract and protect pollinators. The garden contains over 180 different species of perennials, most of them native to the piedmont of North Carolina. The garden provides three seasons of forage for bees and other pollinators.
Growing Wild Nursery, Mellow Marsh Farm, and Cure Nursery donated several perennials and shrubs that will be given away during the day, and Niche Gardens Nursery and Big Bloomers Flower Farm donated gift certificates and we will be drawing winners for those throughout the day. Fine dining restaurant Oakleaf donated two gift certificates, as did our friendly neighborhood co-op, Chatham Marketplace. Photographer and Agriculture Extension Agent Debbie Roos will give way some matted pollinator prints and cards. Look for the sign under the big tent to enter these drawings. Drawings will be at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 12:30 pm. You must be present to win. Buck Naked Farm donated a basket of products from the hive.
Mead Tasting and Mead Making Demonstration
Ever tried honey wine? Co-sponsors Starrlight Mead will be out on the lawn with us doing a mead tasting throughout the day and a mead making demonstration at noon. Starrlight Mead has also donated a gift certificate for a Mead Tasting for 4 people so folks can enter for a chance to win. Visitors can also visit the meadery where they produce their award-winning honey wines on the Chatham Mills property!
Visit our kids’ tent with lots of activities for kids including a plant-a-pollinator-plant, beeswax candle making, scavenger hunt, face painting, balloon pollinators, Chatham County pollinator coloring books, and more! Watch “Bee TV” – park yourself in front of an observation hive and watch the worker bees tending to the queen. It’s mesmerizing! Talk to some of our young beekeepers who will be on hand to share their love of beekeeping.
Thanks to Country Farm & Home in Pittsboro for donating supplies for our kids’ pollinator planting activity!
While enjoying Pollinator Day, stop by the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market which will be on the lawn with us. Look for the bee stickers on items sold by the vendors that rely on bees for pollination! The market is open on Saturdays from 8:00 am-noon and offers fresh produce, meats, dairy, eggs, baked goods, soaps, plants, flowers, and much more.
For more information about pollinator conservation, visit Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Conservation website at www.protectpollinators.org.