Friday, February 1, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Sheltering Native Bees

Girl Scout Ariel has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For Ariel’s project, “Sheltering Native Bees,” she focused on promoting native pollinators, in particular, the Mason bee. Ariel made 12 bee shelters and placed them around the community. According to Ariel, the Mason bee is a great one to support because they barely sting and when they do, it is barely noticeable- it is comparable to a mosquito bite. The Mason bees are three-times more efficient pollinators than non-native honeybees. There is no upkeep for the shelters because the bees are independent and do not make honey to harvest.

“This project is important because it helps support a healthy ecosystem,” she said. “Native pollinators represent a significant portion of pollination for food in the United States that help feed our world’s growing population.”

In addition to the shelters, Ariel made signs to explain what the bee shelters are, how they work, their importance and how locals can make a simplified version for their yards. Ariel targeted people of all ages, genders and socio-economic levels. She wanted to capture the attention of those who visit state parks or take walks in their neighborhoods.

Ariel overcame several obstacles throughout the course of her project, including gathering enough volunteers to assist her. She found that even though people offered to help, when it came time to assist, only few were committed. New to her area, Ariel realized the importance of cultivating strong relationships.

Throughout her project, Ariel discovered that she had the ability to lead despite being a quiet person. She learned that being flexible and being able to problem solve is just one part of being a good leader.

“To be a good leader, I needed to have a solid plan that I can be confident in and follow through with. I learned that when I’m excited about an idea I can inspire and empower others through my strength and leadership,” she said.