We’re celebrating all of our native Texas bees, bats hummingbirds, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies, and beetles with a Pollinator Jamboree! Texas Parks and Wildlife is hosting a virtual event for the month of October called the Texas Pollinator BioBlitz which encourages kids and adults of all ages to get outside, find pollinators and nectar-producing plants and share their observations by posting a photo or video to Instagram, iNaturalist, or Facebook.
We’ve teamed up with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and BeeWeaver Apiaries to bring that virtual event to life on Saturday, October 20 at Vista Brewing. Our wildflower fields, 16-hive apiary, farm and walking trails are the perfect place to spot pollinators in action!
From opening at 11:00 a.m. to closing at 10:00 p.m., we’ll have a lineup of fun classes, tours and activities to learn about the importance of pollinators. We will also release our collaboration beer project with the Wildflower Center, a French Bier de Garde featuring ingredients sourced from the Wildflower Center’s Taste of Place Edible Garden.
Scheduled Tours & Classes:
- 11:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. Plant Identification Walk: Take a walk with experts from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center identifying native plants and learning about Central Texas pollinators. 1-hour tour. Please wear sturdy walking shoes. No RSVP needed, meet in front of the Tasting Room.
- 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. Farm Tour: Tour of Vista’s onsite vegetable and herb farm with Farmer Travis. Learn about our “beyond organic” farming practices, restoring pastureland to farmland and see what’s growing this fall. 1-hour tour. Please wear sturdy walking shoes. No RSVP needed, meet in front of the Tasting Room.
- 6:00 p.m.: Happy Hour Hive Tour: Step up into Vista’s bee observation area and see how beekeepers work through colonies. Our beekeeper will show you the different parts of a hive including: queen bees, workers, drones, honey, pollen, and wax. Afterwards (or before!) enjoy a free honey tasting in Vista’s tasting room. RSVP required. Please wear sturdy walking shoes and meet in front of the Tasting Room.
All day activities:
- Monarch Display — learn about the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly, it’s migration patterns and the importance of planting milkweed.
- Kid’s Wildflower Mask — pick up a wildflower mask to color and model your favorite native wildflowers.
- Pollinator Bingo — grab a card at the bar and search for pollinators and nectar-producing plants on the Vista walking trails and farm.
- Honey Tasting — sample the unique flavors of honey created by the bees from different locations around Texas.
- Observation Beehive — inside our Tasting Room, we’ll have a fully contained, working beehive on display to see the bees in action!
- Texas Parks & Wildlife BioBlitz Daily Challenge —post a picture of a beverage made with the help of pollinators (hint, our DreamWeaver Braggot has over 180lbs of Texas wildflower honey!) and share observations by posting a photo or video to Instagram, Twitter, iNaturalist, or Facebook. We’ll have a specific hashtag, and encourage you to tag the Wildflower Center and Vista.
Did you know:
- The monarch population across the Eastern United States, Canada, and Mexico has declined by nearly 80% over the past 20 years.
- Besides monarchs, 30 native pollinator/flower-visiting species (bees, butterflies, and moths) are designated as Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
- Pollinators (butterflies, bees and moths, bats, hummingbirds, wasps, flies, and beetles) sustain native plant species, human food crops, and even crops for livestock.
- You can help! Learn about pollinators and pollinator habitat with these resources. You can help by planting native, nectar-producing plants and pollinator gardens in communities, schools and backyards across Texas.