Get Busy for Bees: Garden City and Ketchum Host Bee-centered Events 

Bee populations have been declining for years, and the pollinator crisis hasn't escaped notice in the Gem State. With flowers starting to open across the valley and tensions over bee survival running high, the time is ripe for a slate of bee-centered events, which will take place in Ketchum and Garden City in the coming weeks.

The Garden City event scheduled for Thursday, April 12, "Planting for Pollinators," is part of the Bee City USA Lecture Series and will be led by Anne Debolt, who recently retired from the Idaho Botanical Garden. Debolt will discuss how bees are losing their habitats and which local plants best attract them to backyard gardens.

At 5:30 p.m. on the same day, The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will hold a free lecture at its Ketchum headquarters called "Border Free Bees" as part of its Friday-Friday, April 13-22, Big Idea Project, which revolves around pollinators and the American food system. Dr. Cameron Cartiere, an Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C., will lead the discussion, which is named after his Border Free Bees public art initiative. The project attempts to raise awareness of the trouble that bees face, in part by transforming "under-utilized urban sites" into pollinator pastures. Collaborating with a variety of scientists, artists and community groups, members of the initiative hope to assist bees by creating more habitat for them.

Although The Center will host a range of bee-focused events and even a gallery opening through June, one that's both interesting and imminent is "What is the Threat?" A panel discussion that will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24. Steve Hobbs, a backyard beekeeper, will moderate the panelists, who include Tom Harned, a commercial beekeeper and owner of Five Bee Hives; Ross Winton, Regional Wildlife Biologist with Idaho Fish and Game; and Sara Berman, who runs Squash Blossom Farm. The panelists will discuss the impact bees and other pollinators have on humans, as well as the role they play in maintaining the food supply.

For humans to keep up a sustainable agricultural system, the bees need to keep buzzing, and these events will encourage people to get busy to help.

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