Thumbnail image from Pixabay
By Rebecca Fending
Each year when March rolls around, it marks the official start of spring about midway through the month. This year may feel a bit different than last given the pandemic that continues to stretch forward and all of the changes we’ve experienced with its presence. What better way to ward off the COVID and winter blues than by enjoying the fresh air of the season?
This month holds a number of holidays, events and other notable celebrations. St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, the first day of spring, International Women’s Day and so many others are part of March’s extensive event calendar. However, two especially exciting events happening this month are World Wildlife Day and the famous Florida Strawberry Festival. Although seemingly unrelated, there is an underlying theme of the appreciation of nature.
The Honey Bee for World Wildlife Day
World Wildlife Day is a day designated for learning more about the role both global and local wildlife hold in our lives. Although the holiday is officially on March 3, it’s a great opportunity to use the entire month as a way to potentially find your new favorite animal, which may dwell in your backyard.
Spring is a great time to learn more about your local ecosystem as all animals, including those classified as insects, come out of hiding and prepare for the year ahead. Honey bees are a particularly important insect, though devastatingly undervalued. Most people know that bees pollinate plants and produce honey, but their pollination process is crucial for any local environment. As these insects move from plant to plant, area to area, they help ensure that both the flora and fauna are able to flourish.
Bees are essential because, according to NASA, “… they pollinate approximately 130 agricultural crops in the U.S. including fruit, fiber, nut and vegetable crops. Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars annually to improved crop yield and quality.” Honey bees are the tireless workers behind the scenes making sure that our own operations don’t crumble.
Ring in Spring with The Florida Strawberry Festival
The Florida Strawberry Festival focuses, of course, on the beauty of locally grown strawberries by putting them to good use. Whether it’s in a classic shortcake, ice cream or even bought in bulk, the popular berries make an appearance every year in early March. The love of strawberries brings together the community to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and learn more about these fruits come to be. This includes recognizing the importance of local wildlife in strawberry production, including honey bees, as mentioned above. By jumping from to each strawberry blossom, bees help cultivate the crop that brings us the yearly festival. Really, we have the bees to thank for our favorite local festival each year!
This month, take the time to learn more about your local wildlife, read more about the thousands of interesting animals on our planet and experience the 2021 Florida Strawberry Festival.
Take care and we’ll see you in April!