Nov 30, 2022 12:00 PM
Lunch: Mike Kiernan, Founder, Bee the Change
How Bee the Change of is working to increase bee population and how Essex Rotary might engage

Tawnya and Mike Kiernan founded Bee the Change to increase pollinator environments in an effort to increase the bee population.  To start, Bee the Change has focused on land around solar installations - and are now expanding to other land.  Mike is an emergency doctor at Porter Hospital in Middlebury who, in his spare time and with his partner Tawnya, has adopted "saving our bees!!"   The Essex Rotary Environment Committee is considering working locally with Bee the Change to add to our bee habitat.  


It turns out that bees and bee habitat is in the news.  The Vermont Center for Ecostudies has just produced a report called The State of Vermont's Bees.  This VTDigger article describes the situation. 

we have 17 species of bumblebees in our region


Twenty five years ago we had all 17, now we are down to 10, and of those 7 that are endangered, 4 are gone. Gone. How unusual is that? At the ordinary rate of species loss, if we lost one bumblebee species twenty five years ago we would not expect to lose the 4th until the year 3,400.

Here is Bombus borealis, in one of our first solar fields. It is increasingly uncommon in our region, but not at the South Ridge Solar site. Critical habitat restoration with diverse species can support a diversity of invertebrates, including pollinators. And we have numbers to prove it.