Pollinators: What’s the Buzz?

We’re introducing an exciting new program series for 2019, exploring topics related to pollinators and their interactions with human civilization, with a focus on bees and butterflies.

Dig Deeper! Pollinator Resources

Read about it! Peoria County Chronicle article

Pollinator Photography Contest

Art and science meet! Photography is an important tool in documenting and identifying pollinators, and it’s your turn to get behind the lens and try your hand at capturing some of these fascinating species. Click here for details.


Introduction to Pollinators

Tue., Jan 29 @ 6 pm  Wed., Feb 6 @ 6 pm

In this introduction, Mike Contratto will discuss what pollinators are, their importance to human food production, and other ways they improve our lives. We’ll also start to look at some ways we can protect endangered pollinator species.

Gardening for Pollinators

Tue., Feb 26 @ 6 pm

Anyone can make small changes to their yards and gardens to make them more inviting and attractive to pollinators. Mike Contratto shares advice on gardening for pollinators and why it can help gardens be more colorful and fruitful.

What You Plant Matters: The Collective Impact of Urban Habitat on People and Nature

Thur., Mar 21 @ 6 pm

Dr. Abigail Derby Lewis will discuss the Field Museum’s Urban Monarch Conservation program, and their efforts to understand the role and opportunities small and mid-sized cities have in supporting monarchs and other pollinators.

Spotlight on the Rusty Patch Bumble Bee

Thur., Apr 4 @ 6 pm

The Rusty Patch Bumble Bee has recently been declared an endangered species. Mike Miller, Supervisor of Environmental and Interpretive Services with Peoria Park District will discuss conservation efforts in this area and what you can do to help.

Photographing Pollinators as Citizen Scientists

Thur., May 23 @ 6 pm

Pollinators tend to be very small and move quickly! The best way to identify them is through photography. Lesley Deem, Director of the U of I Pollinatarium, joins forces with Mike Contratto to teach a variety of ways to photograph pollinators and provide information about citizen scientist websites were you can post your pictures.

Honeybees and Beekeeping

Thur., June 20 @ 6 pm

Though honeybees are not native to North America, they have been widely valued for their honey and used in crop pollination, and many people enjoy raising bees as a hobby. Beekeeper Steve McNair will provide an overview about honeybees, share tips about how to get started in beekeeping, and talk about some of his unique bee-related projects.

Raising Butterflies at Home

Thur., July 18 @ 6 pm

Join the Central Illinois Monarch Butterfly Task Force and learn how to raise monarch and swallowtail butterflies in your home. You can build a cage to take home to use in raising your own butterflies, and we will explore the library’s prairie to find butterfly eggs or caterpillars for you to raise. Register by July 11 if you want to make a cage.

Pollinators Up Close and Personal

Thur., Aug 29 @ 6 pm

Angella Moorehouse, field biologist and natural areas preservation specialist with Illinois Nature Preserve Commission, will discuss how she uses photography as a tool to identify native pollinators and document what flowers they visit, their habitats, and their behavior. She will also present awards to the winners of the Pollinator Photography Contest.

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