Penn State's Great Insect Fair celebrates pollinators

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Why are pollinators so important to our daily lives? Find out at Penn State's Great Insect Fair, taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 13, at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus.

The theme of this year's fair is "PollenNation," according to fair coordinator Steve Jacobs, senior extension associate in entomology.

"Insects pollinate approximately 75 percent of the food we eat, but there have been dramatic drops in pollinator populations worldwide," Jacobs said.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences' Entomology Department, the fair will provide information on what is killing bees and other pollinators and how to create and protect pollinator habitat. Related activities and displays will feature honey tasting, pollinator diversity and nesting habitat, bee observation hives, a pollinated-food table, and "pollinator theater."

Penn State Master Gardeners will be on hand with resources for pollinator-friendly home gardens. Attendees also can receive a "Pollinator Passport Book" and have it filled by visiting all of the event's pollinator booths.

The fair also will include other events designed to be fun and interactive:

--Butterfly tents

--Build-A-Bug Contest -- Kids can bring their homemade insects for judging and a chance to win prizes (for rules and guidelines, visit the contest Web page)

--Cockroach races

--Carnival games

--Arts and crafts at the Insect Construction Company

--Insect zoo

--Insect collections

--Face painting

--Insect vendors, featuring insect pets, art, crafts, books and t-shirts

--The Bug Doctor Is In -- Get answers to your insect questions

Parking and admission for the Great Insect Fair are free, although donations will be accepted to help defray costs. Entrance to the fair is through the Founders Entrance on the east side of the Bryce Jordan Center.

Information on the Bryce Jordan Center's bag policy is available on the BJC website. All Bryce Jordan Center parking lots will be available for parking during the event.

To learn more, call the Department of Entomology at 814-865-1895 or visit the Great Insect Fair Web page.

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Last Updated September 11, 2014