NEW YORK, June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Aiming to protect bee biodiversity in the US and improve the public's environmental knowledge, The Honeybee Conservancy has partnered with 10 beekeeping organizations nationwide to launch BeeBlitz. The BeeBlitz will be a nationwide series of events, inviting citizens to gather and document the diversity of bee species in their local areas. The BeeBlitz kickoff event will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 on Governors Island, a 172-acre island in New York Harbor that has been transformed from an abandoned former military base into a model of sustainable design and resiliency.
At the kickoff event on Governors Island, visitors will meet at the new Bee Sanctuary, which is home to over a dozen bee species. From here, guests will be able to take a self-guided tour through the island, with a map highlighting key spots to look for bees, such as the Earth Matter Lavender Field, the only one of its kind in all five boroughs of NYC.
In each BeeBlitz event, participants will be asked to photograph the bees they discover using the iNaturalist app, effectively helping build a biodiversity database for their local bees. The iNaturalist app is a free tool that has helped nature enthusiasts identify insects, animals and plants, and record and share their observations creating research quality data to better understand nature.
"A growing body of research has revealed that more than 40% of insect pollinators are highly threatened globally, including our native bees. BeeBlitz is designed to provide 'bee literacy,' which is critical in our conservation efforts," states Guillermo Fernandez, Executive Director of the Honeybee Conservancy. "BeeBlitz will mobilize bee advocates nationwide and provide eye-opening data that can be used for conservation planning, environmental education, and insight into the richness of our urban ecosystems"
One in three bites of food we eat depends entirely on bees – but nearly 1 in 4 North American bee species are imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. And while 99% of people believe that bees are critical or important, only 14% are able to guess within 1,000 the actual number of bee species in the U.S.
Along with New York City, cities across the country are participating in the BeeBlitz, including Detroit, Iowa City, Chicago and Colorado Springs.
For more information, please visit: https://thehoneybeeconservancy.org/beeblitz/
About the Honeybee Conservancy
The Honeybee Conservancy is a 501c3 non-profit established in 2009 in response to the bee crisis. We expand conversations around urban ecosystems and inspire a new generation of sustainability-minded citizens to advocate for bees. We are a Project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs.
Sources: "Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers", Biological Conservation
Volume 232, April 2019, Pages 8-27; "Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees," Center for Biological Diversity 2017; "Interest Exceeds Understanding in Public Support of Bee Conservation", Wilson, Forister, Caril, 2017
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