Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pollinator Week, June 16 - 22, 2014

Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership. Seven years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week”  to address declining pollinator populations.  Pollinator Week has now grown to be an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

The numbers of both native pollinators and domesticatedbee populations are declining. They are threatened by habitat loss,disease, and the excessive and inappropriate use of pesticides. The loss of
commercial bees to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has highlighted howsevere the issues of proper hive management are to reduce stresses causedby disease, pesticide use, insufficient nutrition, and transportation practices.

A site providing help identifying wild bees, honey bees, wasps, and flies.

A regional guide for selecting plants for pollinators in Wisconsin and other states in the eastern broadleaf forest area:
  • Choose a variety of plants that will provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season. 
  • Resist the urge to have a totally manicured lawn and garden. Leave bare ground for ground nesting bees. Leave areas of dead wood and leaf litter for other insects.  Leave some weeds that provide food for pollinators.
  • Strive to eliminate the use of all pesticides.
  • Find local resources to help you in your efforts-local county extension agent, native plant society, regional botanic gardens and arboreta.
  • Determine when you need additional flowers to provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season
  • Add plants that provide additional seasons of bloom, create variable heights for shelter, and attract the types of pollinators you want.
  • Don’t forget to include host plants that provide food and shelter for larval development.
  • Use Integrated Pest Management Practices to address pest concerns. 
  • Provide safe access to clean water.
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates (including bees, beetles, butterflies and moths, caddisflies, crustaceans, dragonflies and damselflies, flies, mayflies, stoneflies, worms, freshwater sponges, mollusks, starfish, mussels, and crabs) and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.

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