Monday, June 17, 2024

It’s National Pollinator Week: Learn how to protect pollinators

Male monarch butterfly

This week, June 17-23, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) recognizes the importance of protecting pollinators. Insects like bees, butterflies, wasps, beetles, flies, and even some birds and small mammals such as bats and honey possums,  have the important task of helping carry pollen from one part of a plant to the other. This action later enables the production of new seeds, fruits, and other plants. The NYS DEC wants to continue promoting the state’s pollinator population’s health and raise awareness about what can be done to protect their vital role in nature and economies.

Pollinators are one of the most important species in terrestrial ecosystems, impacting humans and animals’ food chains. In the United States we have at least 100 crops that benefit directly from pollinators. In addition, 25-percent of all birds and mammals have their diet fulfilled from fruits and seeds derived from pollination processes.

To offer recommendations and study more about this important part of the environment, the DEC has published the New York State Pollinator Protection Plan (PDF) and the 2020 Pollinator Protection Plan Update that focuses on conserving and growing the pollinator population in the state.

Bee on a flower

Bee on a flower. Photo by Beth Meer, courtesy of the NYS DEC.

How can you help?

You can be involved in several small ways by choosing wisely when applying pesticides:

  • Read the label carefully before applying anything to your garden.
  • Apply chemicals at night when pollinators, especially bees, are less active.

You can also think about growing your garden to help pollinators prosper, planting certain flowers, like native species that provide nectar and pollen, or you can even work on a more ambitious project like your own beehive in the backyard.

To obtain more information on how to upgrade your garden plants to preserve and protect these valuable members of the New York ecosystem, check out this “Green Your Backyard” video for tips. Contact the DEC at or call at (518) 402-8788 with questions.

Photo at top: Male monarch butterfly. Wikimedia Commons photo.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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