Place, Power, And Purpose: Pollinators On Western Landscapes

Bees date back over 10,000 years on the American continent and are vital to the health of almost every bite of food we eat, but today they face threats from industrialization and habitat fragmentation. Melanie Kirby is a decades-long beekeeper, a scientist, a member of Tortugas Pueblo, and extension educator for the land-grant program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her diverse background gives a perspective on bees and pollinators that brings together Western and Indigenous perspectives, and that can help everyone from farmers to urban gardeners play a role in the revitalization of this keystone species.

Show Notes:

2’19  being called to beekeeping
4’35  learning bee stewardship
7’10  overemphasis on honey bees to the disadvantage of other pollinators
8’44  the deep history of bees
13’00  bee breeding, resilience, and stewardship
15’44  bees as “livestock” migrating for pollination services
18’25  dangers to bees from farm chemicals
19’48  diversifying monocrop plantations by adding hedgerows and flowering plants
20’43  bees contribute to virtually every bite we take
22’14  the importance of integrated landscapes
24’19  the importance of healthy soil for bees
24’44  the prevalence of ecoanxiety among young people
25’56  the need for both scientific knowledge and traditional indigenous practices
28’28  the double edged sword of the “trendiness” of bees
29’42  the practice of breeding queen bees, breeding place-specific bees for resilience
31’23  place power and purpose in pollinator stewardship
37’44  Institute of American Indian Arts as a Land Grant college
43’21  harvesting honey
45’15  the garden at IAIA
47’20  wildfires and bees

Bee photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

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