THE CREW – Folge 783 Jette Lebowsbee

One characteristic shapes our crew like no other. The paths of life meander and free themselves from social expectations (high school diploma, studies, wealth) and straight careers. Consensus seems to be that people, the world, and life are too exciting to be met with a streamlined curriculum vitae. Do you know how exciting the conversations are when you eat together? The food of the catering crew is praised in the sky (Jette would like to expressly point this out) and you quickly find yourself in profound conversations about God and the world. And wait and see if there is another bottle of red wine or beer in the evening...

A person like Jette is certainly a good example of this. She joined our team a good 5 years ago. She studied design in Dessau and Halle, has just signed an employment contract as a foreign language secretary at the Environmental Research Center, and before that she worked for an event construction company and as a graphic designer for many years. With us she is at the start from the start of construction to the end of dismantling and then applies the skills she has acquired during the Endless Summer. In between, she supports our own security with vehicle controls. There is never a lack of work at a festival. It's great when the team consists of people who see work and get started. It all reaches its climax when Jette, while removing the remains of the festival, switches from the duck walk to the downward-looking running dog and back. A sight that nobody forgets in a hurry.

But she still has one big wish for the festival in July. Even if it seems that a position in this festival crew does not allow free tips, on Saturday of the 2019 edition Jette was bobbing on her melon swimming hoop when she discovered a chain of several air mattresses and swimming hoops in the middle of the water. Targetedly she set course for the growing swim animal polonaise and already heard the call: "Melon, over here - this is the end!" She grabbed the last swim ring in the row, and shortly afterwards a sinking pirate airship docked with her. At the beginning of the queue, a festival guest dragged the colorful troupe through the water on foot, and so the airy pearl necklace began to move. Big and small were amazed, because according to eyewitnesses, the swimming animal polonaise was more than 30 meters long! Your wish - that calls for repetition.

From my own experience I can report that you are a real expert in relation to flying insects, especially bees. You were able to explain to me directly that this huge blue shimmering hummingbird is a blue wooden bee, that there must also be distinctive breeding courses in the dead wood and that this type of bee is still quite new in our realms. Where did your interest in insects come from?
JL: I've always been interested in animals, nature and environmental protection. I came across insects during my studies; I had dealt with the death of bees by chance in information design. In a later text seminar I took up this again and wrote such nice sayings as "Without a bee, only routine in the canteen". From that point on I somehow stuck with it and noticed that the topic is usually completely wrongly communicated. Most of the contributions related to honey bees, but the "bee mortality" is actually a death of insects, especially wild bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, ... whose number has decreased by about 70% in the last 30 years due to habitat loss is (sad fact: the studies on this were carried out in nature reserves - everyone can imagine what that means for urban and agricultural areas). So I got deeper into the subject of wild bees and devoted myself to this in my master's thesis (design in environmental protection - using the example of wild bees). In this context, I also hummed the founders of Germany! and got to know my current workplace, the UFZ. In recent years my interest has grown more broadly than in depth, so that I have broken away from the specifications of the approximately 570 wild bee species in Germany and concentrated on the entire field of insects. So my wild bee calendar 2019 was followed by the insect calendars 2020 and 2021, some of the photos used were also taken in Glaubitz (more on that later). However, when you consider how extensive and ramified entomology is, you can only describe my knowledge as superficial. But that's fine, there is always a lot to discover.

BTF: Since the domestic insects are not doing very well, you founded with friends an association that focuses on protection and education. What can you tell us about it?
JL: During the master's thesis, I hummed the corporate design of Germany! examined and interviewed the initiator Cornelis. Back then I asked him how I hum Leipzig! because you can imagine the concept as a franchise system. There are already quite a few hums! About a year later Jonas got in touch with me, he had gotten my contact from Cornelis, because he was also interested in starting the initiative. Jonas brought a couple of friends with him and that's how the whole thing started. Leipzig will be buzzing in March 2021! two years old, but we have only been an association since December 2020. Instagram is our strongest medium, we regularly report on insects, plants, measures and share event information from other initiatives and the city. But we are also active, for example, we're participate in the municipal master plan for greenery and are project partners of BUND in the Citizen Science project Vielfaltergarten. And in our show garden in a Leipzig allotment garden association, we show allotment gardeners how they can make their plot insect-friendly.

BTF: Have you already been able to make special observations on the festival area or does the influence of agriculture have no beneficial influence on species diversity?
JL: Agriculture - as necessary as it is to feed us all - unfortunately has an enormously negative effect on biodiversity. The majority of our agricultural land is managed monoculturally - a one-sided flora also only offers one-sided fauna. Modern harvesting methods and chemicals put additional stress on the insects. There are more insect-friendly methods in agriculture, unfortunately these are usually more complex, less profitable and the farmers are not supported and compensated enough. In Glaubitz, especially at the riding arena, there are also woods and meadows and so probably every crew member has seen me with their heads in the undergrowth or in the herb patch. Flowering herbs are irresistible for many pollinating insects, so that there are always tons of bees, butterflies and wasps on the oregano and lavender in front of the athletes' home (another interesting fact: out of over 300 native wasp species, only 2 species get on our nerves!). I was particularly fascinated by the bristly dagger wasp, a beautiful deep black animal with bright yellow markings. But I've also come across a huge hay horse on the construction trailer next to the campsite entrance. These two, but also the little meadow bird (actually a butterfly) can be seen in my current insect calendar - 3 months therefore go directly to Glaubitz!

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