National Pollinator Week runs from June 18 – 24, 2018. Pollinators are necessary for the production of most of the fruits we eat, as well as coffee and chocolate. Livestock that produce meat and dairy products depend on forage pollinated by bees, butterflies and moths.
Habitat loss due to development and high density agricultural practices mean less forage for native pollinators. Pesticides (especially neonicotinoids) kill not only bees, but butterflies and moths, as well as their caterpillars. Invasive non-native plants have been found to reduce pollinator abundance and diversity. They also disrupt pollinator services to some native plants, which could reduce seed production. Help protect native pollinators and increase their numbers on your property.
Here are some fun activities from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to help celebrate throughout the week:
- Activity guide (Go! Wild) – learn about pollinators at Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, then match plants to pollinators and enjoy other games. Can you guess which animals pollinate plants in your yard?
- Podcasts – listen to broadcasts about native bees, endangered pollinators, pollinator gardens and backyard habitat, and a view a video clip from Green Springs Garden. Are you providing good habitat for pollinators in your yard?
- Webcasts ( Pollinator Live and Monarch Live) – take a trip on these websites to “see” monarch habitat across North America and learn about the great migration of monarchs, or learn how bees and other pollinators benefit people and how to attract them to your schoolyard.
- USFWS monarch butterfly website – learn about its lifecycle and migration, and how you can help save this iconic species.
- The Nature’s Partner’s Curriculum – fun activities for clubs, schools, and families to learn about pollinators. Children may need some help from adults with many of these activities.
For more information check out http://www.pollinator.org.