National Pollinator Week, celebrated from June 16 through the 22 this year, was initiated by the Pollinator Partnership and unanimously approved by the Senate seven years ago. This marked an important step in addressing the desperate issue of pollinator population decline. This week has now grown to be an international celebration of the necessary role pollinators play in the ecosystem. Bees and butterflies are the most identifiable pollinators, bats, birds and beetles also aid in pollinating over 75% of our flowering plants and agricultural crops. Pollinators play a vital role is our delicate ecosystem, their loss will severely affect the environment and the economy, they also support terrestrial wildlife and aid in maintaining a healthy watershed.
Although the message seems to be spreading and concern is growing about pollinator decline, aided in part by the United States Secretary of Agriculture signing a yearly proclamation to that effect, efforts need to continue and expand. Pollinators need our help and there are plenty of simple things individuals can do; use plants in your landscape that attract pollinator species, build a bee block, provide and protect nesting sites and employ integrated pest management on your property. Check out the US Fish and Wildlife website for more in-depth details on these project suggestions: http://www.fws.gov/pollinators/PollinatorPages/YourHelp.html#bee.