We havent been ignoring National Pollinator Week this year (June 2228), but theres so much to take in that it took this long to get it together. If you havent yet, take a look at their website here pollinator.org for all the information.
This group has been instrumental in gaining attention to the status of all pollinators not just honey bees and the precarious situations many, if not most, of them are in due to changes in their environment, pesticide problems, habitat loss and the like.
To help reverse some of these trends, the Pollinator people have put together a wealth of information that you can use, whether you are a teacher, a naturalist or just concerned about whats going on in the world outside ... both with honey bees and their problems, and all pollinators. Take a look at these features...
Photo: Zhang Bo / Istock
The digital library on pollinator information including info on beekeeping, pesticides, general pollinator education, farming and ranching, colony collapse disorder, gardening and public lands.
National Pollinator Week, with all its festivities (thats this week, by the way), including posters, a garden wheel, a reception in D.C. (though most of us cant make that, a podcast will be available, were told), a host of activities listed for every state and more handouts and free information sheets than we can list here.
And what I like most are the free Pollinator Friendly Planting Guides that you can download. Simply put in your zip code and out comes a booklet that shows what to plant where you live so you can help all kinds of pollinators. I suggest downloading all of them, because the information on each is incredible. And they are free.
They also provide a wealth of information on pollinator health that has been published in other magazines and outlets so you can keep up with butterflies, moths, bats, plus others that help keep pollen moving from here to there to make certain plants keep making seeds.
All this, of course, is sponsored by someone, and this year the list is long, including the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, and the Pollinator Partnership. These groups have been instrumental in assisting the beekeeping community in making congressional contacts seeking funding, in working with corporate sponsors to support Colony Collapse Disorder research (Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Burts Bees, Honey Brown beer and others). And there are a lot of others this year.
If you recall, when National Pollinator Week was celebrated last year, there were a set of stamps issued showing all manner of pollinators ... honey bees not included. We noted that slight last year, but not in a big way because all in all, these good folks are working in the right direction.
This year they produced an incredible poster suitable for framing (its big ... 30" x 24") that shows pollinators by the score, but this year a lot more ... including the European Honey Bee, Morrisons Bumble Bee, the Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee, the Squash Bee, the Blue Orchard Bee, and the Southeastern Blueberry Bee, plus an incredible array of fruits and vegetables these insects pollinate. Sponsoring this work are the U.S. Forest Service, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Geological Survey Group, the PCA, the Wildlife Habitat Council, the National Resource Conservation Council, Berts Bees, the National Gardening Association, USDA CREES, and the U.S. Botanic Garden. (you can get this poster for a mere $5.00 shipping fee ... its worth every penny ... get 2 or 3 for your school and library).
Paul Bedard, the Whispers Columnist from U.S. News and World Report, sends along the following information for us, too. Paul, if you recall, informed us about the great bee guy in the bee lab, tinkering away, finding a solution to Colony Collapse Disorder a while back.
There are a good many legislators who have stood behind all of the CCD support and pushed the funding that may, eventually, come from Congress to support pollinators, but more importantly (to me, anyway) to get moving on solving the Colony Collapse Disorder problem. To find out whats going on, exactly, an Oversight Committee from the Ag Depts Horticulture and Organic subcommittee is holding a hearing on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. this week. They will be addressed by Ed Knipling, ARS (Agricultural Research Service) Administrator, Maryann Frazier from Penn State and Dr. Keith Delaplane, from the Univ. of Georgia, coordinator of the $4.1 million grant just issued to study CCD. The first of many, we hope, now that the farm bill has passed.
A second panel will address the committee that includes Steve Godlin, a California beekeeper, David Mendes, the vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation, Ed Flanagan, President and CEO from Jasper Wyman & Son in Maine, producer of wild blueberries, and a cucumber grower from North Carolina. All of these people, Im sure you realize, absolutely need or make their living from honey bees, and Im quite certain will fill in the committee on not only whats going on, but what hasnt been going on relative to funding, and what still needs to be done.
A third group will fill in the committee on other aspects of the situation and include representatives from Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Burts Bees and the Pollinator Partnership.
The results of this testimony will be available, I believe, as a podcast later. Well try and find that recording.
Its National Pollinator Week! Go! Celebrate! Pollinate something!
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