Here’s a great article about Lori Beth the LadybugLady:
It was 1994 when Georgia College & State University student Lori Beth Robinson got into the nature education business. Of course, at that time she didn't know where it would take her or that one day she would be calling herself the Ladybug Lady. She didn't even think it would turn into a business. She just wanted a way to introduce her 4-year-old daughter Tara to the natural wonders that had inspired her growing up. Robinson had just moved with her husband to south Florida, an area that she describes as be covered in concrete. "I was afraid that I wasn't going have any way to teach (my daughter) about nature and about all the things that I loved," Robinson said. "So I got involved at Okeeheelee Nature Center. I started to volunteer for them, giving guided nature walks."
That led her into designing her own nature walks and classes for preschool age children. The program was called "Romp with Mother Nature" and it began what has become Robinson's career in environmental education. From there she started doing hands-on workshops with insects at various schools in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade and Martin counties. The star of these programs were ladybugs - Hippodamia convergent ladybugs to be exact."Ladybugs are deemed one of those 'friendly' insects, so kids are pretty much drawn to them," Robinson said. "They're pretty with the red and the black. And they don't only come in those colors, they also come in yellows and pinks and black with red spots. Kids are drawn to that."
The workshops became very popular with elementary school teachers in the area. Robinson, who was also raising her daughter and going to college, was becoming tired. Eventually, her husband, who works for BellSouth, was transferred back to middle Georgia. She sold her insect education business and her family moved to Gray. But her reputation as a ladybug charmer followed her. "I still had people calling me wanting the ladybug program," Robinson said. "So I started it up again; started going to the schools. And I even did a workshop here at Georgia College in the education department. It just got me going again and I started my college career at Georgia College."
Once again, Robinson found she had an overly full plate. She switched gears and decided she would sell the ladybugs and the curriculum for her ladybug workshops to teachers, so they would be able to do the workshops themselves. An added bonus was that teachers all over the country could use her programs. And so, www.ladybuglady.com, Robinson's ladybug commerce Web site, was born. The Web site offers a wealth of information about the lives of ladybugs, Asian beetle infestations and other topics. Ten years after her journey into nature education began, Robinson said she plans to keep helping kids and grownups learn about nature as long as she can. She said she'll always keep her ladybug business, but she also wants to teach high school biology and eventually get her Ph.D. in entomology.
By Merritt Melancon - The Union-Recorder