Pollinator Week is June 20-26. It is an annual celebration in support of pollinator health, established and managed by Pollinator Partnership. This week is a prime time to raise awareness for pollinators and also to spread the word about what people can do in order to protect them. Those interested are encouraged to celebrate Pollinator Week get involved by taking part in a variety of activities such as planting for pollinators, hosting garden tours, participating in online bee and butterfly ID workshops, and more.
Fast facts from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation:
- Pollinators are essential to our environment, and they provide an ecological service for the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species.
- The U.S. alone grows more than 100 crops that either need or benefit from pollinators.
- The economic value of native pollinators is estimated at $3 billion per year in the U.S.
- Pollinators are keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems. Fruits and seeds derived from insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25% of all birds and of mammals.
Bee Specific: We have all seen reports that our honeybees and other pollinators are on the decline. Much of the instability is due to shrinking natural habitat, exposure to pesticides, and stressed bee population’s vulnerability to pests and diseases.
Bee Friendly New York: Pollinators contribute to the sustainability of our environment and play an important role in the health of our economy in agricultural production. As such, DEC and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets have collaborated to publish the 2020 New York State Pollinator Protection Plan Update (PDF) as an educational resource base for the public.
Bee a Participator: Promote bee-friendly plantings in your home and community. Design gardens to showcase a variety of flowering trees and plants for year-round bloom. Then, observe the microenvironment you’ve created.
“Look Deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
Neonicotinoid Insecticides: NYS DEC announced the intent to reclassify certain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticide products as “restricted use” effective January 1, 2023. If you must make pesticide applications, avoid spraying blooming plants that bees are attracted to. Adjust your spray schedule to early morning or evening when bees are less active.
Bee Proactive: If your resources allow, consider setting up a backyard hive. There is an innate satisfaction of cultivating bees and harvesting honey. Don’t have a space for a beehive? There are many communities offering memberships in a “cooperative hive.” Contact your local beekeepers club or visit Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Pollinator Network webpage to learn more.
Buzzing for more? Swarm over to Cornell University’s NYS Integrated Pest Management for a myriad of resources having to do with promoting and protecting pollinators, and check out https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week for more information about Pollinator Week.
Photo at top: Pollinator Partnership website photo.