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Twelve years ago, National Pollinator Week was designated by the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval, which marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations across our nation. National Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. National Pollinator Week will be honored this year from June 17- June 23.

Southwest Honey Co. has partnered with four local artists to bring unique and meaningful elements to the 2019 Fort Wayne’s own celebration of National Pollinator Week. Artists: Jeff “Ando” Anderson (Pretty Good Posters), Miranda Beck, Tricia Cavender (Rhapsody Art Gallery), and Jaliyah Rice have each volunteered their time and creative talents to design and paint a beehive in support of the cause. These hives are a part of a regional campaign to bring awareness to the severe nation-wide decline of pollinators, how they benefit us, and how people can help them.

Starting Tuesday, June 18 through July 7, visitors to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory will have the opportunity to view the painted hives in the Conservatory’s atrium. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about these local artists and pollinators as well as have the opportunity to ‘adopt’ a hive for a year in support of local pollinator education in Northeast Indiana. Each ‘adopted’ hive will be kept in one of Southwest Honey Co.’s sustainable apiaries and the ‘adoption’ comes with some sweet perks for the ‘adopter’. More information about ‘Adopting A Hive’ can be found at www.southwesthoney.com

“These hives are brilliantly painted, each one more creatively diverse than the last. We are incredibly grateful to these local artists who gave their time and talents to create these amazing beehives in honor of National Pollinator Week. As we work to continually educate our local community on the importance of pollinators, it is incredible to be able to partner with local artists who also value the importance of our ecosystem and our many pollinators.” Megan Ryan, Education Director of Southwest Honey Co. commented.

The Conservatory is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10-5pm, and Sunday from 12pm-4pm, closed Mondays. The beehives and information about the artists who painted them will be on display until early July.

Proceeds from these “adopted” hives will go towards supporting the mission of creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, promoting awareness of their population decline and educating the public on ways they can help through pollinator education programs in the community. Since Southwest Honey Co. began their efforts just three years ago, they’ve personally touched the lives of over 3,000 children and adults through their unique educational nature programs, and currently care for 50 hives in sustainable areas including organic farms and naturally preserved properties around Fort Wayne.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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