The renegade honeybee was looking like a shoo-in to become New York’s summer 2012 poster insect, but it’ll be given a run for its money this Sunday when 140,000 ladybugs are released into into the East Village’s M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden. Ladybugs naturally prey on aphids, pests that are notoriously nasty to cultivated plant life, so by releasing the spotted insects, the garden’s Critter Committee hopes to support growth of its various crops.

The release is a joint effort between the garden and the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, which supplied the ladybugs and did the research to make sure they’d cooperate with the area’s ecosystem.

If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of what’s sure to be a fantastic display of the beautiful bugs, head to M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden at 30 Delancey St. 4pm Sunday. And if you’ve got little ones, consider showing up at 2, when the garden will be hosting a kid-centric educational event featuring ladybug-themed games and activities.

(Photo: flashgordonmd/Flickr)