Native Pollinators

"Lessons Learned 'Keeping' Backyard Native Bees"
Karen DiDonato

  • Saturday, June 15, 2024 – 9:30 am11:00 am

While honey bees are critical to our food production systems, they represent only the tiniest portion of the potential pollinators we can rely on. North Carolina alone has over 400 species of native bees who not only pollinate more efficiently than honeybees, but their diversity makes them more resilient to the myriad threats pollinators are dealing with in the face of climate change. But with half of all bee species in decline, and a quarter at risk for extinction, it is becoming increasingly important that we do what we can to protect this biodiversity before it's too late.

A native bee pollinating what is probably a pear blossom

Interested in learning how you can help support your native bee populations? Start your Pollinator Week (June 17-23, 2024) the right way and join Karen DiDonato of “Nurtured by Nature Growers” as she shares her experience providing habitats to native bees, helping them overwinter and increasing their survival rates so you can learn how you can give these “Super Pollinators” a helping hand!

This class is available both in person at the arboretum and online via Zoom, and a recording of the presentation will be made available to everyone who signs up. Register today and secure your spot!

About Karen DiDonato

Karen DiDonato

Karen DiDonato has been a gardening enthusiast her entire life.  She was born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs and spent the last 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area before relocating to the Triangle just before COVID.   In California Karen and her family owned a 65-acre farm in Sonoma where she planted and maintained over 100 fruit trees and 60+ Italian olive trees.


Karen earned her Undergraduate and Master's Degree from The University of Virginia and after 25 years in the Biotech Industry, recently cut back her hours to become a Master Gardener Volunteer through NC State.  Her particular areas of interest include composting/vermicomposting, native bee cultivation and growing fruit trees and in 2023 she started "Nurtured By Nature Growers" as a means of combining these passions into a single business.

$20 per participant.

Advance registration is required. Registration is available for in-person, on-site attendance or online attendance.

Registration is considered complete when payment is received. You will receive a confirmation receipt from when registered.

Program cancellations can be made up to two weeks prior to the program's start date. No refunds will be made after this time. A 15% cancellation fee applies.
McSwain Education Building at the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Contact the JCRA Education Team at for more information about this program.