“Who Are the Insects in Your Neighborhood?”
Public Education Event held June 11, 2006 in conjunction with the Acadian Entomological Society 66th Annual Meeting at the Kentville Research Station, Kentville, Nova Scotia and Rhododendron Sunday
Using the theme of ‘Who are the people in your neighborhood’, only applied to insects, five different types of ‘neighbors’ were identified. These were: “Lovely Neighbors”, “Noisy Neighbors”, “Helpful Neighbors”, “Nosy Neighbors – Peeping Toms and Tinas” and “Annoying Neighbors”.
“Lovely Neighbors” focussed on butterflies and highlighted ways to attract them to your garden. A plant display from Springvale Nurseries was planned but due to anticipated heavy rains was cancelled. This table included a butterfly craft for children.
“Noisy Neighbors” highlighted crickets and cicadas and provided some interesting tidbits about them. “Helpful Neighbors” emphasized the importance of pollinators for our food production and the benefits of indigenous pollinators and natural predators. A bumblebee colony from Koppert Biological Systems added to this display. The craft at this table was Ladybug prints.
“Nosy Neighbors – Peeping Toms and Tinas” examined entomologists – what they do, why and how it is done. Nets and traps were added to this display as well as some current insect species under investigation (ie. Black Vine Weevil, Brown Spruce Beetle). The collecting trip in the nearby Ravine was open to the public to attend. Although rainy, some 12-15 people went along for the 1.5 hour trip.
“Annoying Neighbors” highlighted biting, stinging and stealing your food insects and their role in ecological systems. At this table an egg carton ant could be made.
Rounding out these displays were Cornell boxes of local insects and live cockroaches. Two booths allowed attendees to play for insect pencils, erasers, stickers, small insect models or insect ‘gro-pets’. The booths were a bean bag toss and a nail board where a golf ball passing through the nails had to hit a prize to be a winner.
Although the weather was not as pleasant as hoped for, displays were set up in an outdoor lunch room and were well attended between the hours of 12:30 and 3:45. It is estimated that some 600 people attended the Rhododendron display that particular day with several asking specifically about the location of the Insect displays. It is estimated that approximately 200 visitors came to the insect displays. The organizers of Rhododendron Sunday have asked about the AES setting up again next year.
Respectfully submitted, Suzanne Blatt