A quality learning experience came from a winter night at the movies with a room full of new friends. Together with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bee Lab, the Center for Rural Affairs was honored in January to host a crowd of pollinator-curious people at a theater in Lincoln. The special occasion was a screening of “The Pollinators,” a documentary followed by a question and answer panel, and loads of take-home materials and seed packets for attendees.
This film explores the intricate logistics of our country’s food system, and its effects on honey bees and wild pollinators alike.
The audience travels along with beekeepers (their tools in tow) on their annual migratory route, from the almonds, to the apples, and onward. We hear from farmers, beekeepers, economists, and academics to gain an informed perspective on the impacts of our choices—as a country and as consumers—on food security. Can these hard facts be tough to swallow? Yes. Does the audience gain knowledge that will affect our behavior in very real ways? You bet.
Americans’ demand and familiarity with perfect produce year-round is challenged; our impact on soil health and the future of so many species’ survival is brought into the light. Thanks to the creators of “The Pollinators,” those featured in the film, and the expert speakers fielding questions from the audience after the film, attendees walked away with very realistic to-do lists.
They’ll accept more blemishes on their produce, plant pollinator gardens, support organic and local farmers, contact elected officials, and, what I find to be the most encouraging and hopeful action, they’ll talk to their neighbors. Whether they live in an urban or rural community, the number of attendees who indicated they’d talk to fellow residents and neighboring farmers was overwhelmingly positive.
If you’re interested in pollinators—from honey bees to native bees, butterflies, and more—get in touch with us so we can pull you into the hive. We have some great events planned this year, from “Explore Beekeeping” classes, to learning circles with topics like early-blooming woody plants, native pollinator habitat, pollinator services on working farms, and prairie restoration. We have a couple more movie nights in the works as well.
When we partner with organizations like University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bee Lab, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Xerces Society, and local experts, we have a deeper reach than on our own. Just as importantly, we need you, and we need you to keep talking to your neighbors.