I know, we almost missed it! If you think about it, though, we here in the northern hemisphere have the rest of the summer and early autumn to appreciate all of the birds, bats, bees, butterflies, small mammals, and other insects who pollinate our flowers and crops.
Some facts about pollinators:
- There are more than 200,000 species of pollinators.
- 75% of flowering plants rely upon pollinators for the fertilization necessary to produce fruit and seeds.
- Pollinators make possible some of our favorite foods, spices, and flavorings, such as blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, chocolate, vanilla, and almonds.
- Bats are the only ones who pollinate the agave plant, which is used to make tequila.
- A teeny fly called a midge is the only species that pollinates the cacao tree, which gives us the cacao beans to make chocolate.
- Honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating 15 billion dollars’ worth of crops every year.
- Pollinator populations are dwindling because of exposure to pesticides, the decline of their habitats, and various pathogenic stressors.
What can you do to help pollinators?
- If you have a yard, plant pollinator-friendly flowers, staggering the time the flowers bloom, if possible. Here’s a great guide, Selecting Plants for Pollinators, from Pollinator Partnership. You type in your zip code, and it compiles a list of beneficial plants that work well in your ecoregion. There’s even a free app on this page that you can download to your smartphone. Here are a few pics of my backyard, where plants, bird feeders and bird houses are crammed in a small space:
- Reduce your use of pesticides.
- Install a bat house on your property. Some species eat a lot of mosquitoes. A bonus!
- Supply fresh water for birds, bees, and other pollinators.
- Attend a National Pollinator Week event in your area. There’s something going on nearly everywhere. Check out this page for details.
- Support your local beekeepers. Many sell their honey at farmer’s markets. Also, I found this cool Indiegogo invention that’s being crowd-funded right now. You have to check out this awesome device, whether or not you would ever do beekeeping. While the conventional harvesting of honey is a difficult process and stressful on the bees, this method is as simple as turning a spigot!
Source: Flow Hive: Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive | Indiegogo
Isn’t that amazing? There’s no way we could keep bees in our townhouse backyard, but it looks so cool.
How will you celebrate National Pollinator Week? Plant a flowering shrub? Eat some honey or chocolate? I’d love to hear from you.
Starting next week, I will be on a summer blogging hiatus, so that I can spend more time working on edits to the fourth book in the Concordia Wells Mysteries, and finish the first draft of the sequel to Never Sleep. I’ll also be spending time roasting marshmallows, star-gazing, listening to the crickets, playing boardgames, and hanging out with my family. I hope you enjoy your summer, too!
10 thoughts on “It’s National Pollinator Week!”
Install a bat house on your property…
Hell to the NO. I know bats are supposed to be so grand, but they scare the you-know-what out of me.
I do all the rest…isn’t that enough? *whimpers*
LOL, Jenny! These are just suggestions. You are definitely a friend to the pollinators. I’m sure the bats will forgive you…. *wink*
Glad you brought this to our attention Kathy. You know how concerned I’ve been about the bees. Yet, for some reason, I didn’t realize there were other pollinators. Interesting. And even though I’m not a fan of the bat either, we wouldn’t have Tequila without them. Margaritas anyone? Cheers! Oh, and do enjoy your summer hiatus. You’ll be missed. 🙂
Thanks so much, Karen! 🙂
That thing is slick. I want one. Thanks for sharing the facts. At my new digs, I shall endeavor to plant accordingly to keep the bees happy.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Good luck on your move, Patricia! I’m sure the neighborhood bees will be happy to see you. 😉
I’m more curious as to how you manage to have a cat and bird-friendly items in your back yard. My outside kitties would just try to eat the birds
Yikes, that would be a problem, Heather. My kitty is indoor-only (ASPCA adoption rules), although she loves sitting in the window to watch the birds and squirrels. It’s like kitty t.v. 😉
Inside is best . My kitties are inside or in an enclosed patio. Still, they try swiping at birds through the lattice .
Great pic, Heather! Love the cat-in-the-box, LOL. Our kitties look very much alike, don’t they? #AwesomeGingerTabbies 😉
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