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Pollinator Week 2024

hummingbird feeding on red flowers

National Pollinator Week is a celebration of the amazing creatures—butterflies, bees, birds, beetles and more—that form the backbone of our natural and agricultural ecosystems. It’s a great time to learn about these animals, the valuable work that they do, and many challenges they face as their populations decline, as well as observe them in action and share your discoveries with others. The celebration takes place on the last full week in June each year (June 17-23 in 2024).

Here are some links and resources featuring insects and other pollinators, along with many of the plants they depend upon for survival.

Duke Gardens Events

All programs will start at the Doris Duke Center. No registration is required, except for the "Pocket Prairie Walk."

Power of Pollinator Plants Walking Tour, Tuesday, June 18, Thursday, June 20, and Friday, June 21, 10-11 a.m. Join Duke Gardens horticulture director Bobby Mottern as he highlights a diverse array of beautiful and beneficial pollinator-friendly flowers throughout Duke Gardens.

Parking Lot Pocket Prairie Walk, Tuesday, June 18, 9-10 a.m. Visit our prairie in a parking lot! Maegan Luckett, horticulturist of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, will guide visitors to the Duke Gardens pocket prairie project in a nearby parking lot to highlight prairie plants thriving in built environments.

The Backyard Wildlife Garden in the Blomquist, Thursday, June 20, 4:30-5:15 p.m. Explore the recently reimagined backyard wildlife garden in the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants with the garden’s designer, curator Annabel Renwick, and learn more about native pollinator plants that are recommended for home gardens, given their ornamental and environmental value.

Meet the Keepers: Bees & Pollinators at Duke Gardens, Thursday, June 22, 1-2 p.m. Join us for this special opportunity to meet Nick Schwab, Duke Gardens’ resident beekeeper, in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, and learn how we care for bees and pollinators throughout the Gardens.

Pollinator Collaborative Science, Friday, June 21, 12-12:45 p.m. Collaborative science (also called citizen science or community science) is when people who aren't professional scientists help collect and analyze information used to answer research questions that can't be studied without a large group of people. Kati Henderson, university and community partnerships coordinator at Duke Gardens, will demonstrate how to use the iNaturalist app for pollinator data collection and highlight places at Duke Gardens that attract interesting pollinators. We'll also share things to look for and photograph when observing and identifying pollinators.

Bees & Pollinators at Duke Gardens, Thursday, June 20, 1-2:30 p.m. Join us for this special opportunity to meet Megan Brown and Nick Schwab, Duke Gardens’ resident beekeepers, in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, and learn how we care for bees and pollinators throughout the Gardens.

Plants & Pollinators in the Pocket Prairie, Saturday, June 22, 9-11 a.m. (registration required for this event; info here).Did you know a prairie can grow in a parking lot? Southeastern native prairie plants can be an attractive, low-maintenance alternative to sod in underutilized urban areas such as parking lots. Additionally, unlike sod, these pocket prairies can also be beneficial to pollinators such as birds and butterflies. Join Maegan Luckett, horticulturist of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, for a visit to a Duke Gardens pocket prairie project in a nearby parking lot for a show and tell demonstration of how ecologically beneficial prairies can coexist with a built environment. You’ll leave with a plant list and an appreciation for the power of prairie plants.

We will also feature pollinator pop-up facts throughout the Gardens, resources for self-guided pollinator plant tours, an array of pollinator-friendly plants available for sale in the Terrace Shop, and more.

Garden Talk Columns

Collaborative Science Projects

Join these collaborative science projects (also called citizen science) to help researchers learn about local pollinators!

Additional Resources

North Carolina Pollinator Alliance  
BEE Downtown 
Durham Bee City U.S.A.
Chatham Mills “Pollinator Paradise” Garden Links and Info  by N.C. Extension Agent Debbie Roos 
Pollinator Central at the North Carolina Botanical Garden 
Bee ID Guide from the Pollinator Partnership  
The Pollinator Partnership

Duke Gardens Videos

More Videos

"Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden" (JC Raulston Arboretum)
"Pollinator Plants for the Home Garden" (JC Raulston Arboretum) 
"Virtual Garden Tour" (N.C. Cooperative Extension, Chatham County)

Photo of hummingbird with bee balm flowers (Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Kline’) by Sarah Reuning.