June 28 – Thank you!

We’ve had a great time celebrating pollinators with you this past week! Follow Cincinnati Zoo’s Pollen Nation on Facebook to keep the celebration going. 

We hope you planted a new pollinator garden, or will consider doing so in the future. Remember to register your garden with our Plant for Pollinators Challenge. This helps us track the collective impact our community is having on increasing pollinator habitat in Greater Cincinnati and beyond. Thank you for making a big difference for our little friends while they do their job to keep our environment healthy!

Bee Funny

What is a bee’s favorite haircut? 

A buzz-cut!

And what kind of comb does a bee use? 

Honeycomb!

Play Pollinator BINGO

Download these BINGO cards and head outside to play Pollinator BINGO with your family and friends. The first person or team to do 5 activities in a row win the title of Pollinator Champion(s). Then, keep going until you’ve covered the entire board!

June 27 – Caring for Your Garden

Your new pollinator garden will need a bit of attention at first to give your new plants the best chance to succeed. For tips on watering, weeding and more, watch this video by Manager of Botanical Outreach, Scott Beuerlein.


Bee Funny

What do you call the bee that couldn’t stop eating?

A little chub-bee

Grilled Honey Cookies

One of the many foods we enjoy thanks to pollinators is honey, of course! Thank you, honeybees! Learn how to make grilled honey cookies with a chef from our sponsor, Simple Truth.

June 26 – Ready to Plant Your Garden?

Now that you’ve planned your garden, whether it’s a few pots on your porch or a larger flowerbed, the next steps are to prepare your soil and get planting! Watch this video for tips on prepping and planting your garden from Manager of Botanical Outreach, Scott Beuerlein. 


Bee Funny

What did the flower say after telling a joke? 

“I was just pollen your leg!”

Bee a Pollinator Scientist

We need your help to collect information on which plants in our region pollinators are visiting! When you are outside walking or playing, pay attention to where you observe pollinators – what is a plant that attracts pollinators? Take a picture of the plant and observe what pollinators visit it over a few days and share your findings on our Plant for Pollinators Challenge Citizen Science Mission on Project Noah! Project Noah is an award-winning social media site that enables students, community members, and professional scientists to create and share nature journals, collect important ecological data, contribute to global research, and help preserve biodiversity. (Photo: Jessica Detrick)

Here are INSTRUCTIONS on how to get started. This will help everyone in our area discover which plants are best to attract pollinators and let the Zoo know which plants you think should be included in next year’s Plant for Pollinators Challenge. When you share a nature spotting, it’s okay if you don’t know the identification of the plant. Friends from the Zoo, Project Noah Rangers, and community members are excited and willing to help! This mission will celebrate discovery and the learning process.

A project in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, and Wyoming City Schools

June 25 – Planning a Pollinator Garden

The first step towards growing a successful pollinator garden is planning. Will you start with just a few plants in containers or dedicate a larger space? What is the most appropriate location in your yard? For tips on answering these questions and more before you start planting, check out this video by Manager of Botanical Outreach, Scott Beuerlein.

(Photo: Stephanie Frankenstein)

Bee Funny

What did the caterpillar say to the butterfly? 

“You’ve changed.” 

Make a Bee and Butterfly Bath

Pollinators get thirsty, too! Offer fresh water in a shallow dish. Add some stones to the dish so bees and butterflies have a place to perch from while they drink. Be sure to change out the water frequently so mosquito larvae don’t have a chance to develop. 

June 24 – Take the Plant for Pollinators Challenge

You can provide beautiful, vital habitat for pollinators by adding pollinator-friendly plants to your yard and landscape. Enjoy colorful blooms all season long that bring many beautiful butterflies and other pollinators to your yard. 

It’s easy to do. Whether planting just a few pots or a larger garden, you can do real conservation at home to support our pollinator friends as they do their job to keep our environment healthy. Watch this video to learn how to take the Plant for Pollinators Challenge from Visitor Engagement AmeriCorps Member, Christina Haffey.

Bee Funny

What kind of bird always forgets the word to songs? 

A hummingbird!

Make your own Hummingbird Feeder

While plants are the best source of nectar, putting out a hummingbird feeder can give these pollinators a nutritional boost during nesting and migration seasons, especially when there aren’t blooming flowers nearby. (Photo: Jason Means)

You can buy a hummingbird feeder, but we think it’s also fun to make your own. We recommend following these directions to make one from a small mason jar. 

To keep hummingbirds that drink from your feeder healthy:

  • Offer a 1:4 solution of refined white sugar to water (e.g. ¼ cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup water).
  • Do not use red dye.
  • Clean out the feeder every few days with hot tap water and add new sugar water.

June 23 – The Benefits of Pollinator Gardening

Now that you know more about our pollinator friends, will you take the next step to help support them by adding pollinator-friendly plants to your yard? Pollinator gardening is good for your health, too! Manager of Botanical Outreach, Scott Beuerlein, explains how pollinator gardening benefits people and pollinators alike in this video. 


Bee Funny

What did the bee say to his girlfriend?

I can’t help pollen in love with you!

Get Crafty!

Turn an egg carton into an adorable buzzy bee.

Materials needed:

  • Egg carton
  • Yellow paint & a brush
  • Sharp pencil or paper clip
  • 4 black pipe cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Black marker or paint

Directions:

  1. Cut out a three-egg-section piece of the egg carton. Paint it yellow. Let it dry.
  2. Cut two pipe cleaners in half. Form each half into a wing to make 4 wings. Poke a small hole in each side of the middle egg-section using a sharp pencil or the end of a paper clip. Insert the ends of the pipe cleaner wings into the holes so that each side has a pair of wings.
  3. Cut the other two pipe cleaners into thirds. Fold 5 of the 6 pieces around the egg carton body to create stripes.
  4. Cut the extra third of a pipe cleaner in half. Poke two small holes into the top of the “head” section and insert the small pipe cleaner pieces to create antennae.
  5. Glue googly eyes on the front of the “head” section. 
  6. Draw or paint a smile beneath the eyes. 

June 22 – Welcome to Pollinator Carnival! 

Let’s kick off our weeklong celebration by meeting the pollinators we have to thank for one out of three bites of our food and for helping native plants thrive in natural areas. In Ohio, our main pollinators are native bees, honeybees, wasps, flies, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Sometimes beetles and other insects perform this important duty, too. As they move from flower to flower to sup on nectar, pollen from one flower sticks to their body and is transferred to the next one, which fertilizes the plant’s flowers so it can make seeds. 


Go Outdoors!

Grab your mobile device and head outside to seek and find pollinators and explore their habitat. Pick a sunny day for the best chance to see the most activity. You can do this in your own yard, a local park or natural area, or even at the Zoo if you have reservations to visit this week. Complete and submit this scavenger hunt and you’ll receive access to a special treat from our sponsor, Simple Truth. 

Bee Funny

What did one flower say to the other? 

Hey, Bud! How’s it growing?


Learn more about pollinators from Manager of Botanical Outreach, Scott Beuerlein

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