'Meet the Scientist' cart
"Bee Smart: Learn More About Native Bees"
Becky Tonietto, Plant Biology and Conservation Ph.D. student
1 to 4 p.m. (20 to 30 minutes)
Did you know that there are more than 20,000 species of bees worldwide? That’s more than all the mammals, amphibians, and reptiles combined! You may be familiar with bumblebees and honeybees, but the state of Illinois boasts 500 species of native bees, including metallic green and blue bees that look nothing like the fuzzy yellow and black bees in your mind’s eye!
Join Becky Tonietto, a Chicago Botanic Garden/Northwestern University Plant Biology and Conservation Ph.D. program student, to see thousands of specimens in her collection. Bees are critically important in pollinating native plants, and Tonietto will describe the sometimes intricate flower/bee relationship — for instance, some flowers require “buzz pollination,” in which the bee must grab onto the flower's anthers and vibrate at a particular frequency to release pollen.
Tonietto has collected bees from all around the Chicago region, including green roofs, city parks, and restored prairies, to evaluate the best habitats for native bees. She has found that bees can thrive in urban environments if we humans help instead of harm their habitats.
This program is available to Garden members and visitors as part of World Environment Day programming. Standard Garden parking fees apply;
Garden Members receive free parking.