By Amy Czerniak, NFU Intern

Last week was National Pollinator Week, a time to increase awareness about the importance of pollinators, the role they play in agriculture, and how they affect consumers. Thursday brought about the National Pollinator Week briefing and a day full of activities for the intern volunteers helping with the event, including NFU Intern Jordan and me. Having interned with National Farmers Union for the last three weeks, I have been lucky enough to experience and, in many cases, take part in various projects and events that are starting to show me the variety of ways NFU serves its members.  None of those experiences, however, quite prepared me for the entirely new role I played throughout the duration of the briefing: that of the bee mascot.

My buzz-worthy position didn’t begin until the afternoon; prior to earning my stripes, Jordan and I visited countless offices of Congress members and worked with other interns to prepare the briefing area, set up exhibits, and provide information to guests.  Attendees were able to witness bees at work in an actual hive at the front of the room, speak with presenters and other pollinator experts, and were treated to free Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream and Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.

Shortly before the briefing began, I donned a large, fuzzy bee outfit that I decided to name “Bee-atrice,” and set out to make the day as unique for others as possible.  I spent the majority of the afternoon buzzing among the crowd as something of a celebrity—people wanted photographs and high-fives galore!  A few bee-wary folks even faced their fears and approached me to say hello.  It was so much fun welcoming people and interacting with those waiting in line while I was under a cloak of anonymity, but all while receiving positive reactions from every direction.  The best part of my job was that it was nearly impossible for anyone to walk past a happy human-sized bumblebee and not smile.

To learn more about National Pollinator Week visit http://www.pollinator.org.
Pictured: NFU Interns Amy “Bee-atrice” Czerniak and Jordan Hergenreder.

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