A few good reasons we all should care about pollinators


Next week (June 19-25) is Pollinator Awareness Week.

The week was established by the United States Department of Agriculture to celebrate pollinators and raise awareness about what you can do to protect them.

Pollinator week is nothing new. It’s 10 years old and was established by the U. S. Senate.

However, the issue has become more critical recently with the decline of the honeybee population.

People are now paying more attention to pollinators, which is a good thing.

Why should we care about pollinators? Pollinators include bees, birds, butterflies, moths, bats and beetles and all provide valuable ecosystem services, with the most important being food production.

FAST FACTS

Following are some pollinator facts provided by the Pollinator Partnership:

  • Approximately 75 percent of all flowering plant species need help in moving their pollen in order for fertilization to occur.
  • It’s estimated that one-third of all foods and beverages are delivered by pollinators and pollinators produce nearly $20 billion worth of products annually.
  • Pollinators play a key role in the production of more than 150 food crops in the United States, including almonds, blueberries, melons and squash.
  • Approximately 1,000 plants worldwide that are grown for food, beverage, fiber, spice and medicine require pollination in order to produce the resource.

HOW GARDENERS CAN HELP

Gardeners can easily help our pollinators with one simple step: plant something with flower.

Create a pollinator-friendly landscape by planting a diversity of trees, shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables that allow for a diverse group of pollinators.

One good rule of thumb to help you plan your pollinator landscape is to plant three different species of flowering plants for each season (spring, summer and fall).

It’s pretty easy to come up with plants that bloom in the spring and summer but sometimes we forget about fall-blooming plants or we don’t have enough blooming in the fall.

In addition, include trees and shrubs as well as annuals and perennials.

For instance, maple trees are one of the earliest blooming plants for honeybees. Witch hazel is a good shrub to use for the early spring as well.

In addition to plants, pollinators require a protective home as well as a water source. Shrubs encourage birds to hang around, and a birdbath is used by butterflies and moths as well as birds.

Reduce your impact on pollinators as well. Before grabbing a pesticide for a plant problem, figure out the problem first.

It’s really frustrating to me how many people grab a pesticide to spray before they even determine the problem.

Think about it. A doctor wouldn’t prescribe medicine without a diagnosis; we use pesticides on plants without a diagnosis frequently!

Protect the pollinators by not introducing pesticides into the environment needlessly.

And when you have the correct diagnosis and need to spray a pesticide, follow label instructions and by all means, don’t spray when pollinators are present.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Premier Health hosts community open house for new ER center
Premier Health hosts community open house for new ER center

Premier Health is hosting a community open house Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. for its new Austin Blvd. Emergency Center, 300 Austin West Blvd. There will also be an invite-only ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m.  The Austin Blvd. Emergency Center will provide full-service, 24-hour emergency care to patients with minor to severe injuries and...
Sunny Sunday, rain returns
Sunny Sunday, rain returns

Sunshine emerges today along with comfortable temperatures Rain rolls in from the south by Monday morning Chance for strong storms arrives on Tuesday Today: A chilly start, but overall nice weather. More sunshine is expected (especially towards the north of I-70), along with a high in the lower to mid 70s. Clouds return overnight with the chance...
Police respond to armed robbery at Dayton gas station, suspect reportedly carrying AK-47
Police respond to armed robbery at Dayton gas station, suspect reportedly carrying AK-47

Police are at the scene of a reported armed robbery involving an AK-47 at a Dayton gas station. Crews were dispatched to the Sunoco located at 3900 Salem Ave. Saturday around 11:30 p.m. According to scanner traffic, the 911 caller chased the suspect and police are searching for the suspect. The suspect reportedly was carrying a white blanket as well...
Student of the Week Graham High School
Student of the Week Graham High School

Name: Chase Adams School: Graham High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Extra-curricular: Basketball, Baseball, Student Senate, Freshman Focus Claim to fame/honors: 2nd team CBC, Falcon Pride Student of the Month, Honor Roll, perfect attendance for all of high school Words you live by: “The true test of a man’s character is how he handles adversity...
Athlete of the Week Graham High School
Athlete of the Week Graham High School

Name: Brady Oder School: Graham High School Grade: 12 Age: 17 Sports: Soccer, Bowling Claim to fame/honors: 1st Team CBC; 1st Team District Words you live by: “Live, Laugh, Love.” Toughest opponent: Life Biggest influence: My parents Game-day rituals: Just think about the game What’s on your bedroom walls: Paint and medals When I&rsquo...
More Stories