Honeybee

A honeybee goes in for a landing on an apple blossom.

A busy beehive of collaborators have pooled their resources to present a Pollinator Fest on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 4 p.m. at Atkins Field, Granite Street, Hardwick, supporting a cause that has a big impact on the local farming community.

The free community event will explore today’s life-or-death challenges facing bees, butterflies and bats. This event features numerous hands-on family activities and workshops, as well as educational forums about what is happening to the pollinators, conservation efforts and current legislative initiatives to control the use of deadly neonicotinoid pesticides in Vermont.

The organizers hope this event will build momentum for the statewide and worldwide efforts to protect the pollinators.

Jerry Schneider, Hardwick butterfly expert and youth educator, will lead family activities related to pollinator conservation, such as starting a pollinator garden and making “seed bombs.”

Organic seeds for these projects are donated by High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott.

A team of elementary school kids from Worcester are concerned about bats, and will present an informative workshop that includes bat house construction.

Judy Bellairs of Hardwick, a Sierra Club member, and state representative Chip Troiano will lead a discussion about legislative initiatives at the Vermont Statehouse.

The Jeudevine Library will host a costume workshop for the children’s pollinator contingent, which will march at the East Hardwick children’s parade on Saturday, June 3.

Jeudevine Music School’s Honey-Bee Steelband will perform their new arrangement of “A Taste of Honey” by the Beatles.

Caledonia Spirits, a Hardwick-based distillery that uses raw honey to distill and flavor their Barr Hill spirits, will offer free tastings of honey, craft spirits and cocktails.

The nonprofit organization PanAshé International will present a strategy session for upcoming street theater and parade plans to bring more community involvement in the pollinator movement through theater, music and the arts.

A merchandise area at the event will feature pollinator-related products, including bat-house kits, High Mowing organic seeds, beauty products with beeswax, candles, raw honey, Barr Hill gin and vodka and more. Profits will help support the costs of this event, as well as donations to organizations that are working on pollinator protection efforts.

Future events include a “Power to the Pollinators” contingent at Hardwick’s annual spring festival parade on Saturday, May 27; Jeudevine Library’s children’s pollinator brigade at the East Hardwick children’s parade on Saturday, June 3, and the Jeudevine Music School Honeybee Steelband at the parade on July 3 in Montpelier. Additionally, Caledonia Spirits is planning a series of “Power to the Pollinator” summer events, beginning with a family-oriented festival at the distillery on July 23.

Information: Jeudevine Music School, PanAshé International: Emily Lanxner 802-917-2179; Caledonia Spirits: Sophia Barsalow, 802-472-8000; Pollinator garden activity leader: Jerry Schneider, 802-472-9034; Sierra Club discussion moderator: Judy Bellairs, 802-441-5606.

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