Pollinator Palooza: The Bee’s Knees
Written by Jessica Jones
Join us this Saturday or Sunday, June 23 or 24, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., for Pollinator Palooza, an event dedicated to celebrating our pollinator friends that help make life fruitful!
What is a pollinator, you ask? To put it simply, a pollinator is an animal that transports pollen from one plant to another, thus helping produce all sorts of things such as coffee, fruit, and even chocolate! Pollinators come in all shapes and sizes – from small to big, fast to slow, and while some prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, others love to spend time in the sky! This wide variety includes ants, beetles, bees, butterflies, bats, and yes, even lemurs! Lemurs, such as the ring-tailed lemur, help pollinate when searching for nectar and in the process collect pollen on their fur. This pollen is then spread from flower to flower as the lemur continues to satisfy his sweet tooth for nectar.
Pollinator Palooza is the perfect place to learn more about our pollinator friends like the lemur, and what you can do to help save these important species right in your own backyard. You’ll become a pollinator pro as you enjoy themed games and activities, watch a pollinator puppet show, and attend special ladybug releases taking place at 10 a.m. each day! Plus, join us for special Meet the Keeper Talks Presented by Phillips 66 highlighting pollinators, such as bats, who you can thank for tequila. This event is included in your Zoo admission and is free for Zoo Members.
Can’t make it this weekend? Don’t fret- our work with pollinators never stops. Visitors in the fall might catch a glimpse of Zoo staff catching monarch butterflies on grounds. This butterfly tagging program allows our partners at Monarch Watch to track the monarch’s migration patterns so that we can further protect areas they visit the most. Just last year the Zoo was able to tag 70 monarch butterflies!
As you stroll around the Zoo on your next visit, you’ll notice there’s quite a bit of buzz around pollinators. Informational signage lining the Conservation Stage attached to the Kipp Aquarium is there to help you learn about plants that are native to Texas, like swamp milkweed – a monarch butterfly’s favorite snack! Many of these native plants that pollinators use for food and shelter can be seen in pollinator gardens throughout the Zoo. Snap pictures of these wildlife friendly gardens and signs throughout your visit, and use them, along with our online resources, as a guide to start your very own pollinator garden at home!