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The Buzz on Our Busy Bees!

bee flowerEntire species of native bees and other pollinators, which are vital to the survival of most flowering plants and trees, are disappearing at an alarming rate due to loss of habitat, pesticide use, disease and parasites. In fact, reproduction of 90% of the world's wild plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume rely on imperiled pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, bats, hummingbirds, and others. 

Bee City, USA is a national, nonprofit organization that encourages everyone to support pollinators by providing them with healthy habitats, rich in a variety of native plants and as free of pesticides as possible. Thousand Oaks is recognized as a Bee City, USA city by supporting pollinator habitats in the community through the use of appropriate landscaping plants and trees, the protection of foraging areas and nesting sites, and an integrated pest management program.

We encourage all our community members to follow these same environmentally-responsible practices on their own properties. Use climate-appropriate and native plants and avoid the use of pesticides wherever possible through natural methods such as ladybugs. For more information, check out the website for California pollinator resources, visit Matilija Nursery in Moorpark or the Theodore Payne demonstration gardens and nursery or check out their plant guides.


Upcoming Events for all Buzzy Bees

The Thousand Oaks Library staff developed a series of events that highlight the importance of bees in our society.

The 2020 title for Thousand Oaks Reads: One City One Book is The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life. In the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard, Meredith discovered the secret world of bees, teaching her about family, community, loyalty and survival.

Bee activity kickoff: The Thousand Oaks Library is excited to kick off this year’s One City, One Book program. Enjoy the afternoon with bee-themed crafts, an “inside the hive” virtual reality experience, a special visit from the L.A. Beekeepers Association and a performance by the Newbury Park High School Orchestra at 2:00 p.m. All ages welcome.

Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library.


Film: The Biggest Little Farm with Director John Chester Apricot Lane Farms is a traditional foods farm started by John and Molly Chester who left their jobs in Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of becoming farmers. Located in Moorpark, CA, the farm is dedicated to a well-balanced eco-system and treating the environment and animals with respect. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, captivating animals, and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature’s call, The Biggest Little Farm provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet. Special Guest John Chester, the filmmaker and director, will do a Q&A and sign his children’s book Saving Emma the Pig. The film premiered at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival, the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and was the winner of the 2019 International Boulder Film Festival for best documentary.

Free screening on March 6, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library. (Farm’s life cycle is depicted; recommended for ages 12 and up.)

Beekeeper Talk: Blue Ridge Honey Beekeeper Donovan Mitchell will talk about the life of the honeybee and the beekeepers who tend them. Blue Ridge Honey in Ventura County, California is a small family business that began beekeeping in the 1970’s. The catalyst for the business was Ventura College, which used to offer an array of classes catering to our local agricultural and farming community, including beekeeping. There will be a contained, live hive for observation.

Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library and from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Newbury Park Library.

Science of Bees talk: Ventura County Master Gardeners: Wonderful World of Bees

Learn about the science of bees and their importance in our world. In this fun and educational talk, Master Gardener Dani Brusius will talk about how to keep the bees in your garden happy, and the plants that attract them.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library.

Free Movies at the Library Enjoy a series of bee-themed films on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library and Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Newbury Park Library. Visit the Library’s website for movie titles. Additional movies showing at different times are listed below.

Movie & Panel Discussion: The Buzz about Bees and Climate Change: Why You Should Care People are often unaware of how important bees are in their everyday lives. It is estimated that 75% of global crops benefit from insect pollination. The more than 30,000 bee species around the world are the most important group of pollinators for farming and wild plants. But the world’s honeybees are in steep decline. While scientists aren’t clear on exactly what factors are behind the decline, what is known is that climate change and shifting temperatures are having a negative impact on the life of bees. A panel discussion will explore the effect of climate change on the bee populations, and how the public can help sustain them. Panelists include Sharon Markenson of The Climate Reality Project, Ruben Alarcón, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Channel Islands, and Jeannie Chari, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science at College of the Canyons.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library.

Film: Honeyland Shot over three years, this powerful documentary explores the life of a beekeeper who is the last in a long line of wild beekeepers in north Macedonia, who dig out honey from trees and mountainside crevices. When another family moves in nearby, who are using more modern methods of honey production, it becomes a threat to her family and way of life. Filmmakers Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska explore thought-provoking questions about honey, the environment, family, and greed.

Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Grant R. Brimhall Library.

Click here to view the City's web page on Integrated Pest Management

Click here to view our past blog on the City's Bee City Designation and the City's pollinator practices

Click here to follow our Pollinator board on Pinterest

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