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The Pollinators Working Group of the Hungarian Society for Environmental Education was established in 2019.  At present, it has 21 members with volunteers joining from Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca) and Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș) (both cities in present Romania), with whom the Group has been working together in this field for a long time.  They focus their activities on disseminating information on pollinators in general as well as on protecting and helping pollinator insects in the temperate climate zone (especially in the Carpathian Basin).  Pollinators play a role in the lives of three quarters of cultivated flowering plants.  We can thank pollinators for getting one third of our food (vegetables, fruits, and spices) on the table at an affordable price and in the needed quantity.

This new Working Group started off with very ambitious plans, and some of those plans have already been realized: Group members have set up insect hotels in five Budapest districts; they have established a complex working relationship with district 12, where – besides setting up insect hotels – they have designed a Pollinator Educational Trail (https://zold.hegyvidek.hu/mehbarat-halozat/beporzo-tanosveny ), organized pollinator-related activities, and – at various occasions – talked about the benefits and significance of pollinators also in the district’s TV channel programs.  Moreover, in 2022, they obtained funds for multiple projects through a community development grant.  Outside Budapest, so far, they have helped build an insect hotel in the Danube Band region.  Also, a cooperation is being established in Pécs, and several group members living outside Budapest are active in their communities as well.

In cooperation with NECC (Nature Education Community Center, web: https://www.neccesek.com/) in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca), they have created two sets of the Pollination Thematic Wandering Science Toolkit, which is a fun science toolkit – designed for non-professionals, mainly but not exclusively for children – containing games and activities in 32 pollinator-related topics.  (The manual – in Hungarian – is available at https://mkne.hu/beporzo-vandortanosveny/.) It is mobile, and is called “wandering” because the tools, equipment, gameboards, etc. fit in a couple of banana boxes, thus the Toolkit can be easily transported and set up at different venues.  It has already been presented at more than a dozen places: at festivals, family-focused events, Earth Day activities, and in schools and museums.

It seems that the “penny has finally dropped” for everybody as we realize that living creatures are in great trouble, and we must help them in any and every way we can.  And not only the pandas and koalas, or the birds and frogs, but also the insects!  We welcome all interested people to our Group; there is much to be done, and hopefully our work will make an impact.

The leader of the Group is Tamás Vásárhelyi (tvasarhelyi@gmail.com).

Events and programs of the Group are regularly featured on the Society’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Magyar-Környezeti-Nevelési-Egyesület.

We plan to update this page with accounts of the Group’s achievements and with useful information on the topic in the near future.

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