Bees and birds and bats, oh my. And don’t forget the butterflies! If you don’t already have a passion for pollinators, I urge you to try and develop one. After all, we’d likely not be here without them, or at least not live in the world as we know it. I guess there’d be lots of wind-pollinated grass to eat, but I sure would miss blueberries. Need help getting to know all about pollinators? Well, I’m writing this blog post about National Pollinator Week happening June 17-23 this year and there are a lot of wonderful resources on their website to get you started. I love how they’ve created fact sheets for different groups in our society: gardeners, farmers and ranchers, food industry and teachers and students. It’s a great way to see how pollinators impact all our lives.
Why should you care about pollinators? From the Pollinator Partnership website: “The 2019 poster, Endangered Pollinators and their Habitats, features beautiful artwork by Carol Schwartz. This poster displays the numerous pollinator species that are at risk and listed as federally endangered or threatened including: 1 fly, 3 bats, 5 birds, 8 bees, and 24 butterflies and moths. Disturbances such as habitat loss, climate change, and application of agricultural pesticides contribute greatly to diminishing populations and disrupting ecological interactions. Extinction can lead to a crippling disaster for ecological resilience and economic interests.”
We are losing our fellow species, right under our noses, usually because of our own actions. We can reverse some of this by writing to our elected officials, educate others about the problems and solutions, plant habitat, stop using pesticides, allow weeds. There are many ways to do something.
My favorite way to start is to know the players. I wrote about this for World Oceans Day. The best way to know and learn about other organisms is to observe them in their habitat. Passions and caring are much deeper when we engage directly. After you read about pollinators, go find some. I wrote recently about visiting my milkweed patch on my nature blog. Sure it takes time out of my busy day, but without such passions, what would my busy days be worth?
The Pollinator Partnership website is well done. I hope you will check it out and then go find some pollinators. Please share this post with others – especially those who like good food! If you are a teacher or know a teacher, you can find a FREE 18-page lesson plan to go with my book Milkweed Matters: A Close Look at the Life Cycles within a Food Chain on my TeachersPayTeachers site. I will leave you with some pictures of pollinators I have met.
green metallic bee
eastern black swallowtail