The Georgia Pollinator Steward Program is a ‘grab & go’ program designed for UGA ANR agents to offer to a more in-depth experience for their clients. After completion of the program, participants are asked to assist the agent in educational programming, pollinator garden creation, etc.
Georgia Pollinator Steward Creators:
Becky Griffin (project coordinator)
How to Use This Program
This program was designed for you to provide a more in-depth experience for your clients with an interest in pollinators. The program has seven modules and it is recommended that you lead one module a week. Order the three books listed for each participant. Anything you charge the group over the cost of the books is for your programming.
Prior to presenting the program, go over the resources for each week and decide how you want to use them. Each week has a theme, several activities, resources, and a corresponding journal article. To round out each class, consider a guest speaker or a field trip. For example, for Honey Bee Week you may want to invite a local honey beekeeper and for habitat week you may want to visit a local garden.
Use the Georgia Pollinator Steward logo for flyers, tee shirts, hats, etc.
Make this program your own. Make it work for your county. Decide in advance what you will ask of your participants once the program is completed. Do you want them to build a demonstration garden at your Extension office? Do you want them to provide educational programming to others? Do you want them to lead census counting for the Great Georgia Pollinator Census?
If you have any questions please contact the project coordinator, Becky Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use the program, we would appreciate any feedback as this program is new.
Week 1: Introduction to Pollinators
Theme: Everyone can make a difference for pollinator conservation!
- Review the PowerPoint.
- Discuss the Pollinator Protection Plan.
- Watch the short film My Garden of 10,000 Bees.
- Visit a local flower garden and have participants watch the insect activity paying close attention to the insect/flower interaction.
- Use the research article.
- At the end of the day have the participants create a personal pollinator mission statement using the cards provided. Have them save this, we will use it at the end of the program.
Week 1 Prep: You will need to rent or purchase the film My Garden of 10,000 Bees. Review the Pollinator Protection Plan, decide if you want to print it or choose what you want parts you want to discuss. Print the Personal Mission Statement Cards, preferably on card stock. Scout a garden location for a field trip.
Week 2: Native Bee Week
Theme: There are over 4,000 native bee species in North America.
- Use the PowerPoint to introduce the importance of bees as pollinators and to go into depth on two species. Use the Bee Species Diversity in the United States handout as you start the PowerPoint.
- Use Common Native Bees of the Eastern United States and go through the introduction. Especially look at The Interconnected Relationship Between native Bees and Native Plants in the Introduction. Pick a few bee species to look at in-depth.
- Have the participants look at bee specimens through a microscope.
- Show the video about the Rusty-Patched Bumble Bee (below).
- Look at the Native Bees of Georgia website.
- Building native bee homes is an option, although many participants may have done this in the past.
- Use the research article.
Week 2 Prep: You will need to have bee specimens to look at. Contact Becky Griffin for how to take bee specimens if you have not done that before. You will need to have the supplies for the bee homes. You will need to precut boards and roofs. It might be easier to pre-drill holes as well.
Week 3: Butterfly Week
Theme: Butterflies are more than a pretty insect.
- Use the Butterflies of Georgia book with the Butterfly Worksheet to look in-depth at some of our Georgia butterflies. These particular butterflies were chosen because they are common and they have interesting larval plants and/or habitat.
- Show Flight of the Butterflies film about the discovery of the Monarch nesting sites in Mexico.
- Create butterfly puddles.
Week 4: Other Pollinators Week
Theme: A pollinator is anything that moves pollen from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of a flower.
- Use the PowerPoint to introduce pollinators other than bees and butterflies.
- Send your group on a “other pollinators” hunt. Using their camera phones have them photograph, and identify, the types of pollinators that they find in their gardens.
Week 5: Honey Bee Week
Theme: Each honey bee hive has only one queen.
- Show the short video Be the Bee – A Hive to Table Experience from the National Honey Board.
- Plan for a honey taste testing (see resources below).
- Ask someone from your local beekeeping association to be a speaker.
Below are the resources to host a honey tasting. All you need are several local honey varieties.
Week 6: Habitat Week
Theme: A habitat consists of food, water, shelter, and nesting places.
- Talk to the group about the Pollinator Plants of the Year program.
- Have the attendees pick a bee from their Bees in Your Backyard book and use the Bee Card (below) to fill out information on nesting sites. Is the bee a cavity nester that looks for spent, hollow plant stems? Is it a bee that nests underground?
- Consider using the Habitat Assessment for a garden or park pollinator garden.
Week 7: Go Forth! Week
Theme: YOU can make a difference!
- Go through the Farming for Pollinators activity.
- Discuss possible habitat certification programs.
- Review the participants personal mission from Week #1.
- Use the research article below.
- Consider a practice Pollinator Census.
The following activity was designed by Irenee Payne, Pollinator Coordinator for the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts, as a way to think about the benefits of adding pollinator habitat to a Georgia farm. It is a great way to put all of the pollinator weeks together.
Consider having your group go through the certification for one of the following certification programs:
- Connect to Protect Certification
- Monarchs Across Georgia
- The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail
- National Wildlife Foundation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat