Thursday, June 24, 2010
4th Annual National Pollinator Week, June 21-27!
This week is dedicated to raising awareness of the value of those hard-working pollinators that account for every third bite of food we eat. Governors of more that 30 states have designated the last week in June as “National Pollinator Week.”
And it is being celebrated in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and around the globe as more and more people are realizing the value of pollinators as part of our food web.
“A World of Pollinators” is the theme for 2010 National Pollinator Week. Find out what is happening in your area at: (link name)
What can we do for pollinators? Start with one observation. And from there a whole new world can open up. Each observation you record and report will be part of a growing body of data that we can use to measure pollinator service around the country. But observation is only the start. We can take action, too!
Add a yard to your yard
In a recent study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, loss of habitat was identified as a major cause of the decline in the number and types of bees nationwide. By planting for pollinators, we can rebuild pollinator habitat and make a significant, positive impact on the survival rates for honey bees and other pollinators. Whether urban, suburban or rural, pollinators rely on “key species” to obtain the vital nectar, pollen, and nesting resources they need to keep thriving. These key plants are critical for survival and can be incorporated easily into your garden. If everyone added another square yard of habitat species to their gardens, just think of all the additional resources that would be available for bees to get what they need to give back what we depend on.
So if you have the room, take action! Add a pollinator yard to your yard and let us know how it goes for you.
Here’s how it works in six easy steps:
1. Select a spot in your yard that gets sun and would look great planted out with more flowering plants.
2. Measure out three feet by three feet and mark it off. You may have to remove turf, large rocks, or lawn furniture.
3. Condition the soil, by adding organic topsoil or compost and working it in.
4. Select plants that offer a variety of pollen and nectar through out as much of the year as your climate supports flowering plants. Check with your local nursery, master gardener group or botanical garden for ideas. Native plants are always a good choice.
5. Plant it out and enjoy the benefits of providing critical resources for pollinators in your garden.
6. And, make sure to take “before and after” pics of your garden- you can post them on our flickr site here (link name ) We will be awarding a jar of delicious honey from Gretchen’s hives to the lucky photo winner.
We invite you to celebrate National Pollinator Week with us. Take action and add a yard to your yard. We also suggest that you check out www.pollinator.org/TAP.htm for a list of ideas throughout the year. This new program sponsored by the Pollinator Network highlights specific actions that school groups, farmers, gardeners, and others can take to “Take Action for Pollinators.” You can purchase or download this beautifully done poster there, too. Happy National Pollinator Week!