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Bee flying towards a sunflower.

Buzzing with excitement for World Bee Day

Happy World Bee Day! What do you think of when you hear the word bees? Perhaps initial thoughts range from a bee sting and pesky creatures to Queen Bee-yoncé, chocolate covered honeycomb or Jerry Seinfeld and Renée Zellweger's “Bee Movie”. With all these examples, it’s no doubt bees play a crucial role in our world.  

World Bee Day, celebrated annually on May 20, was created by the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators. This date was chosen specifically as it is the birthday of Anton Janša, a pioneer and teacher of modern beekeeping practices.  

The UN celebrates the holiday by hosting events and publishing educational information about the importance of these pollinators. For example, did you know that a single worker bee can visit up to 5,000 flowers a day? They work tirelessly to collect nectar and pollen to bring to their hive.  

Bee pollination is critically important as it aids in the reproduction of flowering plants, which are the basis of any ecosystem. Many crops rely on pollination to reproduce. Without enough pollination, crop yields would decrease and result in food shortages.  

At our solar sites, whenever possible, we plant pollinator-friendly seed mixes, consisting of native grass and plant seeds. The plants help to enrich the soil, improve water quality and provide habitat for pollinating species.  

Pollinator habitat plays an important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of bees and other pollinators like butterflies, birds and bats. The habitats are designed to give food, shelter and nesting sites for pollinating species. By establishing and maintaining pollinator habitat, we ensure the continued health of these species and the ecosystems around them.  

As we get ready to celebrate World Bee Day this year, we can all do something to protect our pollinators. Whether it’s planting bee-friendly flowers in your garden, supporting local beekeepers or spreading the word about bee conservation, every little bit counts.  
Laura is the Manager of Environmental Services specializing in sustainability, emerging issues and reporting. She began her utility career in Corporate Communications then spent seven years leading the Distribution System Operations and GIS team. During her career, Laura learned how customers are at the heart of every decision Alliant Energy makes, from emergency restoration to environmental compliance.

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