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DREAM BIG with DESIGN Screening Opportunity for ASLA Chapters

Designing Landscapes for Pollinators: The American Society of Landscape Architects presents: My Garden of a Thousand Bees and an expert discussion

On Thursday, April 14, ASLA hosted a screening of the award-winning PBS Nature film, My Garden of a Thousand Bees. The screening was followed by post-film discussion, Designing for Pollinators, led by Patricia Algara, ASLA and Clay Bolt, World Wildlife Fund expert. This exciting event was the first of ASLA DREAM BIG with DESIGN 2022 pre-event celebrations.

My Garden of a Thousand Bees follows acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn, who, locked down by coronavirus, turns his lenses on the surprising and spectacular bees living in his own urban garden in Bristol, England. Watch the trailer and full film online. In addition to the full film, a selection of short pollinator-focused videos is available to stream online for free and to share on social media.

ASLA invites you to join our DREAM BIG with DESIGN pre-event celebration by hosting a screening of My Garden of a Thousand Bees for your local school community. This is your opportunity to spread the word about DREAM BIG with DESIGN and encourage educators and students to save the date: Thursday, September 22 and Friday, September 23.

To host a film screening event, all you need is a venue space where event attendees can watch the film together.

Sign up to host a free community screening.

Your event details will then be added to the Events Map on the film’s website, and you’ll be provided with all materials necessary to support a successful screening event.

Organizing a film screening is an easy and engaging way to inspire your community to support their local pollinators by designing bee-friendly landscapes. Through actions as small as planting a section of yards or community spaces with native wildflowers, we can each make a big impact. Even one square foot can make a difference. 

Access the resources below to supplement almost any STEM curriculum or lesson plan:


My Garden of a Thousand Bees from Nature on PBS (53 mins)
New documentary film follows wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn during the COVID-19 lockdown of spring and summer 2020, as he becomes bee obsessed and develops relationships with individual bees. Filming more than 60 species of bees, from Britain’s largest bumblebees to scissor bees, which are the size of a mosquito, Dohrn observes how differences in behavior set different species apart from each other. Eventually, he gets so close to the bees, he can identify individuals just by looking at them.

Busy Bee Builds an Intricate Fortress (3 mins)
This construction of grass stems takes bee architecture to new heights. The Red-Tailed Mason bee, nicknamed the Tent-Making bee, has solved the problem of other bees breaking into her nursery and it starts with a shell.

Bee Mating Ritual Caught on Camera (2 mins)
In the “bee highway,” male bees search for female bees to mate with. When this male bee spots a female, he becomes transfixed and does a bit of a dance.

Monster Bee Defends his Territory and his Mate (3 mins)
There is a new bee out in the garden, and he is a “monster.” This male Wool Carder bee will mate with any female and chase away any male that comes into his territory.


The Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains from WWF Wild Classroom
The resources in this free content pack are designed to encourage learners to explore, analyze, and discuss the importance of grassland ecosystems like the Northern Great Plains, the benefits grasslands provide to wildlife and people, and our role in protecting them. The resources also look at the role pollinators play to keep ecosystems healthy while familiarizing learners with the pollinators and wildflowers native to their area. These resources are great for grades 3-8, but can be adapted for any age group.

Exploring Wild Bees from PBS LearningMedia (9 mins)
Taking refuge from the coronavirus pandemic, wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn set out to record all the bees he could find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England, filming them with one-of-a-kind lenses he forged on his kitchen table. See his surprising discoveries in this video from NATURE's My Garden of a Thousand Bees.


Amplify with Dr. Sam Ramsey (3 mins)
Amplify allows scientists to share stories about their journey into science and their role in the scientific community. In this episode, Dr. Sammy Ramsey from the USDA talks about what interests him about entomology, what got him first considering a career in science, and his advice to young students coming from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM.

The Threat to Bees and Our Food Supply from Elements (7 mins)
ELEMENTS host Trina Espinoza explores the impending threat to honeybees worldwide: the tropilaelaps mite. USDA entomologist Dr. Sammy Ramsey explains the damage that “tropi mites” inflict on bee populations around the globe, and the potential risk they pose to local pollinators if they were to ever invade colonies here in the U.S. And the concerns aren’t just isolated to entomologists – the tropi mite poses a colossal risk to food security and the health of ecosystems everywhere. The more scientists can understand today about tropi mites, the better prepared we can be if they ever arrive on our shores.

Native Bees from Seeker Bites (1 min)
The U.S. has 4,000 native wild bee species, not even including the common honeybee. In this short video, viewers learn about the diversity of local wild bees, their role in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and things we can all do to help keep these populations safe.

Commercial Migration from Seeker Bites (1 min)
As global demand for food increases, the role of commercial pollination has become invaluable. Every year, thousands of bee colonies are trucked between orchards and farmlands in a coordinated effort to increase access to pollinators. Commercial pollination has become more necessary than ever before in the wake of declining bee populations across the board.

Tropilaelaps Mites from Seeker Bites (1 min)
This short video explores the risk of invasive tropilaelaps mites to the U.S. bee population. Up to 75% of the crops we grow rely on pollination, so any threat posed to honeybees is a serious concern for USDA scientists hoping to study the mites and mitigate their potential impact.

Instagram Live with Dr. Sam Ramsey & Clay Bolt (30 mins)
In partnership with Seeker, the celebration of bees and pollinators continued throughout #BeeWeek. The week-long initiative (October 23-28) spanned Seeker’s platforms on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube with original content about native bees, pollinator health, and emerging research. #BeeWeek culminated in an Instagram Live Q&A event (October 28 at 7pm ET/4pm PT) with Dr. Sammy Ramsey from the USDA and Clay Bolt from World Wildlife Fund.

Coming Soon: How to Build a Bee from Day’s Edge Productions (10-12 mins)
This short film explores the emerging body of research into bee/microbe symbioses, the diversity and importance of native bees, the roles that symbiotic microbes play in bee biology and development, and a surprising way that our agricultural system may threaten wild bees. Aimed at science-curious adult audience, but with plenty of amazing natural history to entertain younger audiences (middle school and up).

Coming Soon: The Power of Pollinators from Day’s Edge Productions (5-6 mins)
This film explores what pollinators are, what services they provide, the astonishing diversity of pollinators (particularly wild bees) found in North America, and how everyone can help protect pollinators in their communities. Hosted / narrated by Dr. Samuel Ramsey. Aimed at a middle school audience.


Landscape Architecture Magazine   

  • Adam Regn Arvidson, “Lawn Gone,” Landscape Architecture Magazine 103, no. 9 (September 2013): 40.
  • Adam Regn Arvidson, "Pollinators in Chief,” Landscape Architecture Magazine 104, no. 12 (December 2014): 30.
  • Constance Casey, “A Bee Is Back,” Landscape Architecture Magazine 102, no. 2 (February 2012): 46.
  • Constance Casey, “The Buzz Stops Here,” Landscape Architecture Magazine 104, no. 6 (June 2014): 76-80.
  • Jeff Link, “A Plan for Pollinators,” Landscape Architecture Magazine 105, no. 8 (August 2015): 34-36.
  • Maggie Zackowitz, “The Specialists,” Landscape Architecture Magazine, December 20, 2018.

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