Yep, it is National Pollinator Week. This is a great opportunity to highlight how important insects are. While they are often looked upon as pests, nuisances, and disease carriers, most insect are beneficial and serve a valuable purpose in our environment. Honey bees have taken quite a hit lately and have been featured by a number of mass media outlets. Colony collapse disorder is being studied by numerous research entities and theories abound. Since all the data is not in, I choose to hold off on an opinion right now.
I like the idea of a designated “week” to get the word out and educate people. I really like that they are focusing on many insect pollinators, not just the honey bees. This started eight years ago, and I hope that they continue to grow their website and resources to involve as many people and organizations as possible.
There are many ways people can get involved.
- Get educated – There are any number of papers, articles, websites that have info on all types of pollinators. Smithsonian Magazine recently had this article on “The Secret Life of Bees”. And as a follow up, they talked with May Berenbaum who is an amazing entomologist and received the National Medal of Science!
- Get involved – There are lots of simple things that can be done to encourage native pollinators. Planting native plants, especially flowers. Having a small water source if you are in a dry area. Join in an event. Check out the USDA’s page on Pollinator Week to get more info and ideas as well.
- Pass it on – Share with your friends, neighbors, relatives, random people on the train, whatever.
Okay, so that was only three steps, but you get the idea. Comment below on your favorite pollinator or share how you participated in Pollinator Week!