Archive: Learn All About the Birds and the Bees

Belle Isle Nature Center hosts family-friendly Valentine’s Day-themed event

January 27, 2020

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Belle Isle Nature Center will host its annual family-friendly Valentine’s Day-themed celebration, The Birds and the Bees, on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event features photography, crafts, zookeeper and beekeeper talks, and other fun learning activities.

“This G-rated celebration encourages guests to show some love for our winged friends who are so important to the environment,” said Amy Greene, nature centers director for the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).

Guests are invited to enjoy winter birding walks led by Belle Isle Nature Center education specialists. Citizen science activities will include Celebrate Urban Birdsa program developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to help scientists of all ages identify local birds, collect data, create art and make the earth a little greener.

Visitors will also learn about the danger many windows – especially large ones – pose to birds. Templates for window decals that help prevent bird collisions will be available to make and take home.

Biology department staff and students from Oakland University will be on hand to share information about the significance of native and solitary bees. The U.S. Forest Service will also be in attendance to answer questions. Hourly workshops on “How to Show Love for Bees” will be conducted, along with honey tastings. Staff will even be raffling off jars of honey harvested from the Belle Isle Nature Center’s backyard bee residents.

An art exhibition featuring works by macro photographer Joseph Ferraro will be on display during the event. Valentine’s-themed crafts will include “bee mine” cards and birdseed valentines that children can use to feed the birds in their own yards.

Zookeeper and beekeeper talks will highlight the courting and nesting behaviors of birds and the life cycle and communicative dance moves of bees. These talks will be held at the Nature Center’s bird observation window – which allows guests to watch native and migratory birds feed on natural and supplemental food sources – and the observation beehive. Sealed tightly within a double-sided glass case and tunnel, the hive provides bees with year-round access to the outdoors and provides guests an up-close glimpse into their busy daily lives.