This honeybee is dusted with yellow pollen, which it will inadvertently transfer to other flowers as it gathers nectar and pollen to bring back to the nest. Photo: Suzanne DeJohn
It’s National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate the hardworking bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and other insects and animals that promote healthy ecosystems. Protecting pollinators isn’t just good for the planet; it’s good for you, too — because about one out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. According to the Pollinator Partnership,
- Worldwide, roughly 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by an insect or animal.
- Foods produced with the help of pollinators include apples, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins, vanilla, almonds and tequila.
- In the United States, pollination by honey bees, native bees, and other insects produces $40 billion worth of products annually.
Celebrate National Pollinator Week by learning more about pollinators, including steps you can take to create a pollinator-friendly landscape. And plan to attend a National Pollinator Week event in your region — you can find a list at the Pollinator Partnership web site.
Learn more about pollinators in the following articles:
- Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators: Five ways gardeners can welcome pollinators; a list of plants that draw butterflies, hummingbirds and beneficial bees.
- All About Pollinators: How butterflies, bees, and other animals insure our gardens and crops
- Planters for Pollinators: When you think about what to plant in your planters and windowboxes, consider making a few containers that are designed to attract birds and butterflies.
- Attracting Beneficial Bees: Planting pollen- and nectar-rich flowers is a very important way to help counter the decline in pollinator populations. Most bees are attracted to flowers for their pollen as well as their nectar.