“Most of the food you put in your mouth every day, you can thank a bee for pollinating that.”
Mario Padilla is the curatorial entomologist at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster Colorado is one of the first accredited invertebrate zoos in the country. Padilla says the bees are facing many challenges from loss of habitat, increased use of pesticides, parasites, poor nutrition, pathogens (the four ps.) “Every year we see studies coming out that a lot of the honey bee colonies have crashed around the country but also that our native bee population is on the decline.”
Padilla says more attention is being paid at all levels from government to local on the plight of the bees, due to a growing awareness of their importance to many aspects of our lives “not only for the biodiversity aspect of it and the eco-system management of it but also because of their important role in pollination services. Agriculturally bees fall in the billions of dollars to what they’re worth to us…Most of the food you put in your mouth every day, you can thank a bee for pollinating that.”
The Butterfly Pavilion is offering a beekeeping bootcamp starting on January 30th running every month through October “in each class we’re going to do a specific lesson that’s associated with the season where we’re at.” Many metro area municipalities now allow some form of backyard beekeeping and Padilla says that this growing interest in local beekeeping will have a positive impact on the fate of the bees “the state of Colorado is not going to be able to save the bees, but education is the most important thing…as the education builds and builds and more people learn about it, maybe they’ll think more about bees, how to help them, plant pollinator gardens, how to support to the livelihood of bees.”
- 5 two-hour workshops throughout the year on Saturday mornings, 10 a.m. to Noon
- Workshops include instruction and information in the classroom, followed by hands-on practice and observation in the gardens.
- Workshops will not include hives and beekeeping supplies, but will provide informational materials and supply resources.
- The complete series of workshop participants will receive a certificate.