2018 is the Year of the Pollinator at Awbury!

The flowers you see and the fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds you eat depend on the process of pollination.

In 2018, the Arboretum featured monthly classes, tours, dinners, and workshops highlighting the often unacknowledged creatures and forces – bees, butterflies, moths, wind, and more – who initiate so much of the beauty and bounty of our world.

The premier event of the Pollinator Year was our interactive art installation; FOUND: Native Pollinators at Awbury Arboretum featuring twelve one of a kind, beautifully crafted tiles by Karen Singer Tileworks.  The tiles were on display throughout our grounds from April through October.


Other Year of the Pollinator Events:

❦  Thursday, January 18th –  Make and Take Seed Ball Workshop

❦  Saturday, February 10th – Paw Paws, Figs, and Other Unusual Fruits for Philly

❦  Thursday, March 8th – Pollinators on your Plate and in your Glass…….Oh My! 

❦  Saturday, April 21st – Pollinators FOUND Opening at Awbury Arboretum, an art exhibition and scavenger hunt

❦  Saturday, May 19th – Pollinator Friendly Plants and Hints for Community Gardeners   

❦  Wednesday, June 20th – Celebrate the Summer Solstice: Sculpting en Plein Air 

❦  Saturday, June 23rd –  First “Stars in the Garden” Seasonal Pollinator Habitat Garden Tour

❦  Wednesday, July 18th –  Edible Garden Party with PHS

❦  Friday, August 17th –  Second “Stars in the Garden” Seasonal Pollinator Habitat Garden Tour

❦  Saturday, September 8th – “Trees for Bees” at Wyck Honey Fest

❦  Thursday, October 11th – Third “Stars in the Garden” Seasonal Pollinator Habitat Garden Tour

❦  Sunday, November 4th –  “Beyond honeybees: beetles, butterflies, bumblebees, and other pollinators” with Dr. Dan Duran

❦  November through December – Garden Life Through a Lens Photography Show

Featuring local gardeners’ photos of native blooms – insects included!  Click here for more information.


Presenting: Awbury’s 2018 series on pollinators– from wasps to wind!

Monthly articles corresponded with our programming and our “Pollinators FOUND at Awbury Arboretum” art show and scavenger hunt.

Articles written by La Salle student and Awbury intern Dan Sardaro.

December – Milkweed Beetle

Remember how milkweed was critical in the life of monarch butterfly larvae, turning them into brightly colored, poisonous insects? The milkweed beetle eats the same plant and thus has the same deadly secret.

Click here to read the full article!

November – Scollid Wasp

The scoliid wasp doesn’t pollinate because of appetite or attraction to bright colors- it’s lured to certain orchids that mimic the scent of a potential mate!

Click here to read the full article!


October – Hoverfly

The hoverfly elicits fear in an oncoming predator by making them think that they can inflict a painful sting, but they can’t actually sting at all!

Click here to read the full article!


September – Crab Spider

The crab spider can change its color to match the yellow or white flowers upon which it lives for most of its life.

Click here to read the full article!


August – Monarch Butterfly

While beautiful on the outside, monarchs contain a deadly secret on the inside – they’re poisonous!

Click here to read the full article!


July – Spicebush Swallowtail

These butterflies utilize spicebush for both food and shelter!

Click here to read the full article!

June – Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This magnificent creature that is quite the tactical pollinator.

Click here to read the full article!

May – Sweat Bee

These bees are the epitome of “team players.”  They truly have never met a flower they didn’t like!

Click here to read the full article!

April – Hand Pollination

This method is long, tedious work, but in some locations it’s either pollination by hand, or no produce at all.

Click here to read the full article!

March – Blue Orchard Mason Bee

These bees- which are dark blue with a metallic shine- are extremely effective at pollinating fruit trees, helping keep the produce you eat available and healthy.

Click here to read the full article!

February – Wind

While the winter winds may seem frightful, Spring winds usher in an entirely new season of rebirth.  Learn about parts of the globe that contain fewer animals or insects where wind is key.

Click here to read the full article!

January – Honeybees

Learn about honeybees’ roles in their colony, their responsibilities in the ecosystem, and what YOU can to help these little critters.

Click here to read the full article!


Past years:

2021- the Year of Water

2020 – the Year of Citizen Science

2019 – the Year of Natural Fibers

Corresponding article series: Awbury’s 2019 Series on Natural Fibers

2018  the Year of the Pollinator

Corresponding article series: Pollinators– from wasps to wind

2016 – Awbury Arboretum’s Centennial

Corresponding article series: The Country in the City: Natural History in Northwest Philadelphia