Monday, June 18, 2012

National Pollinator Week

A native bee (genus: Agapostemon) on New England Aster flower. Photo by Jolie Goldenetz Dollar
One in three mouthfuls of food and drink we consume can be linked to insect pollination. Pollinators (primarily bees but also moths, butterflies, beetles, flies, and small mammals) assist in the production of more than 150 U.S. crops that include apples, alfalfa, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, kiwis, melons, pears, plums, and squash. Native pollinators not only contribute to the productivity of our crops, but also to the survival and reproduction of many of our native plants.

What is pollination? Pollination is when pollen is moved within a flower or from one flower to another of the same species, which leads to fertilization. With no pollination at all, many of the foods we enjoy would no longer be available. The plants that other creatures rely on for food and shelter would disappear as well. More than 80% of flowering plant species need the help of animals to move their pollen grains from plant to plant.

Five years ago the U.S. Senate designated the final full week of June as "National Pollinator Week" to raise awareness on the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinating animals are a vital part of our ecosystem, support terrestrial wildlife, provide healthy watershed, and more.

According the the Pollinator Partnership, here are some things we can do to help our pollinators:
  • Reduce your impact. Reduce or eliminate your pesticide use, increase green spaces, and minimize urbanization. Pollution and climate change affect pollinators, too!
  • Plant for pollinators. Create pollinator-friendly habitats with native flowering plants that supply pollinators with nectar, pollen, and homes. For information on what to plant in your area, download a free ecoregional guide online. 
  • Tell a friend. Educate your neighbors, schools, and community groups about the importance of pollinators.
  • For more tips on what you can do to help our native pollinators, visit the Pollinator Partnership website.
Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown will be hosting the following events to inform you and your family about native pollinators:
  • Friday, June 22 from 7-8:45pm: Free viewing of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees which examines the decline of the honeybee, possible causes, and the greater meaning it holds. A brief discussion will follow, including tips on what you can do to support pollinators in your own backyard. Appropriate for ages 8 through adults. Popcorn will be provided!
  • Saturday, June 23 from 1:30-3pm: Free drop-in for children ages 4-10 titled Celebrate Pollinators! Children will enjoy a special story as well as a fun craft!
Facts and figures for this post were found on the Pollinator Partnership website.

No comments:

Post a Comment