Here are some square "spots" of art from the book. You can pre-order the book now from Arbordale Publishing or Amazon.
Did you know we Achoo in English, but other languages make a different word? How about deaf people? This is an interesting article on the subject of social acceptance.
I came across two great articles today where college students in Massachusetts are making a big difference learning how to help our bees. The first is at my daughter's school, The College of Natural Sciences, UMass Amherst. Lynn Adler, Biology, with co-authors former Darwin Scholar Anne Leonard, Karly Regan '15, Winston Anthony '13, and colleagues from Dartmouth College, have found that bees infected with a common intestinal parasite had reduced parasite levels in their guts after seven days if the bees also consumed natural toxins present in plant nectar.
Adler's study finds natural plant chemicals reduce bee parasites
The second article has Heather Mattila at Wellesley College showing the importance of nutrition on honey bee development.
Honey Bee Workers That Are Pollen Stressed as Larvae Become Poor Foragers and Waggle Dancers as Adults
One of the easiest and best things we can do to help our bees is to simply plant more diverse flowers in our gardens. Not only do we aid the little pollinators, we also make our environment cheerier!
I do extensive research before I write, or illustrate a book. If at all possible, I try to do "hands on" research and travel to view things up close. In order to illustrate the Lepidoptera art for Butterfly Counting, written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Shennen Bersani (me), Charlesbridge 2015, AND my Achoo! Why Pollen Counts character, Zoe Zebra Butterfly, I visited four "butterfly gardens". All four are in Massachusetts:
The Franklin Park Zoo Butterfly Landing, Boston, MA
The Butterfly Place, Westford, MA
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens, South Deerfield, MA
Museum of Science Butterfly Garden, Boston, MA
All four are similar, but unique. I do not have a favorite! All of them are amazingly peaceful and calming. I will say the two in Boston are smaller spaces, exhibits tucked into their parent organization - the Zoo and the MOS. The other two are larger facilities where you can commune with the gentlest creatures of nature in an enclosed environment. I have visited all four too many times to recall.
The first time I visited The Butterfly Place I went with my good friend, and fellow artist, Donna Berger. Outside of the entrance in the parking lot I snapped these photos of pollinators - a bumble bee and an ant - moving pollen about from one flower to another.
It was a long, rough winter for Boston, MA. More snow than we have ever seen! But signs of spring have finally arrived - later than usual. Our snowdrops appeared late this year, here one blooms on April 6, 2015, in my yard outside of Boston. What a treat, a lovely bee stopped by! Notice the pollen that has stuck to her hairs. As she visits other snowdrops she will pollinate them, and she will bring pollen back to her hive. Bees will mix pollen and nectar to create beebread, a protein-rich food for their larvae. Below the crocus have also blossomed in my yard. Notice the orange pollen that has fallen from the stamen. It has collected on the petals.
Wow! Look what landed in his spam folder! This will help him study native bees pollinating blueberries. Thank you Charlie C. Nicholson for your work in helping our pollinators! http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/04/01/researcher-finds-100k-in-spam-folder/70811776/
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Achoo Why Pollen Counts page.
To write and illustrate Achoo! Why Pollen Counts I researched and studied bees. One of the places I visited was the Museum of Science in Boston, MA. The MOS has a colony of live honeybees to safely study. The bees fly from outside into a tube connecting to their hive indoors. From these photos you can see them entering the building and then busy working in their hive.
Learn more about the MOS here.
One in seven people worldwide suffer from pollen allergy. Read an article about this here:
A wonderful article about pollen. http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/CDcourses_pollen.html
Shennen Bersani, author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts; the illustrator of 31 children's picture books.
Achoo! Why Pollen Counts
A blog for achoo!
and all things sneezy, wheezy, dusty, pollen