Time to Celebrate National Pollinator Week
Get ready to toast bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. National Pollinator Week is June 17-23 and it's a perfect time to celebrate the birds, bugs and lizards that are so essential to the crops we grow, the flowers we smell, and the plants that produce the air we breathe.
The Pollinator Partnership created Pollinator Week and the U.S. Senate designated National Pollinator Week in 2007. The intention was to draw attention to the protecting pollinator habitats, since they are in steep decline due to human activity, according to Transmission & Distribution world.
The organization's Million Pollinator Garden Challenge has registered more than one million new pollinator gardens since 2016, according to Village Soup in Knox, Maine. This year's challenge asks participants to plant three pollinator-friendly plants that bloom at various times during the growing season, that is, one during the spring, one in summer, and the last in fall. That way, pollinators will have food through most of the year.
The Pollinator Partnership offers many resources and a guide to local events for anyone who wants to get involved in National Pollinator Week.
Bees, beetles, bats, butterflies, hummingbirds, flies and other pollinators help pollinate more than 75 percent of our flowering plants, and nearly 75 percent of our crops, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. While these animals often go unnoticed as they carry pollen from one plant to another, there work is essential to many of the foods we eat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service points out that blueberries, almonds, squash, chocolate, and coffee all depend on pollinators.
County governments, private conservatories, and botanical gardens around the world are all celebrating Pollinator Week.
The Irvine Ranch Conservancy in Southern California offers lessons in spotting pollinators and asks volunteers to help collect wild seeds and to remove invasive species from canyon's in Orange County. The Tohono Chul botanic garden in Tuscon, Arizona will host its annual Adopt-A-Bee fundraiser, which aims to increase awareness of the importance of bees to the local and international food economy and to the plants in the garden. In Virginia, the governor is encouraging people to plant a variety of species to attract bees and to support the state's beekeepers by buying local honey, according to CBS News Charlottesville.
For anyone looking to support pollinators in their area, a small garden or window boxes is helpful. Harnett County, in North Carolina, suggests growing plants with lots of flowers that are attractive to a range of pollinators. In particular, they champion growing yarrow, Echinacea and St. John's wort, it said in a press release.
Village Soup in Knox, Maine suggests that if you want to start a pollinator garden, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Use flowering plants, which provide nectar and pollen.
- Provide water
- Grow flowers in sunny areas with wind breaks
- Focus on growing native, non-invasive species
- Shoot for a continuous bloom throughout the growing season
- Try to avoid using pesticides.
You can register your garden with the Pollinator Partnership to make your participation in National Pollinator Week known.