Wild Bees at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is pleased to feature an exhibition of Wild Bee photography by Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman from August 9, 2017 to Sunday, November 26, 2017 in the Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery, open 9am-6pm, seven days a week. A free opening reception will be held from 6-7:30pm on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at the Garden’s Pritzlaff Conservation Center at 1212 Mission Canyon Road, Santa Barbara. Visitors who wish to attend the opening reception should RSVP.
“We are thrilled to bring Sharp and Eatman’s photographs of Wild Bees to the Garden,” said Steve Windhager, Ph.D., Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Executive Director. “The Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery is a space where science meets art, and where we want people to see the natural world in a different way. We’re excited to feature this exhibit on native plant pollinators, who are too often overlooked.”
Sharp and Eatman’s crisp macro photographs bring visitors closer to the variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of wild bees and illustrate the unique relationship between native plants, crops, and bees. Originally hosted at the Rockefeller State Park Preserve Art Gallery in New York, this sampling of their exquisite photographic works illustrates bees’ essential role in our planet’s health.
Beginning in July 2014, Sharp and Eatman undertook this three-year photographic project to document bees in New York’s Rockefeller State Park Preserve and neighboring Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. There, the mingling of domesticated honey bees and native pollinators comes from the unique juxtaposition of nature preserve and farmland.
While many people are aware of the collapse of European honey bee populations, fewer know that native insect pollinators are also declining globally due to a combination of habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticide use, pathogens, and invasive species. Native bees pollinate both wild plants and agricultural crops – many of which cannot be pollinated by honey bees. There are nearly 4,000 native bee species in North America which provide roughly $3 billion per year in “ecosystem services.” California is home to over 1,600 of these essential pollinators, many of which are uniquely adapted to the native plants they have evolved with. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden works to create habitat for these bees in the wild and on Garden grounds.
See samples of their work and the digital product of this project, a Wild Bee ID Guide, here.
About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
The Garden is a 78-acre privately funded nonprofit institution that fosters the conservation of California’s native plants through our gardens, research and education, and serves as a role model for sustainability. The Garden was founded in 1926 and is among the nation’s oldest botanic gardens focused exclusively on native plants. For more information about the Garden, please visit sbbg.org.