Celebrate National Pollinator Week!
by Talula Pontuti, SLCgreen intern
Have you heard about Pollinator Week?
The week of June 18-24, 2018 is designated National Pollinator Week by the Pollinator Partnership and the U.S. Senate! Hopefully you made it out to this last weekend’s Bee Festival hosted by CATALYST magazine to help kick it off and celebrate our diverse community of pollinators – bees, butterflies, birds, moths, wasps, and more!
Why Celebrate Pollinators?
Pollinator species, such as the classic honeybee, help fertilize plants that keep ecosystems thriving and crops producing. Farmers depend on them to help produce high yielding, delicious food.
All species also rely on pollinators for increasing carbon sequestration, preventing soil erosion, keeping plants reproducing, and acting as a food source for other species.
Although honey bees and bumble bees are commonly associated with pollination, the majority of pollinators helping our system are wild bees, hummingbirds, bats, moths, and beetles, so supporting all of these groups are important!
Unfortunately, bee populations are at risk, whether from pesticides, loss of habitat, or new pests. Learn more about Colony Collapse Disorder from the EPA.
How to Help Protect Pollinators
But you can help!
- Join our Pesticide Free Campaign and commit to keeping chemicals out of your lawn and garden. Pesticides and herbicides are commonly found sprayed on lawns and crops to kill pests and weeds, but they can be dangerous to pollinators and people. Pledge with us to create a #PesticideFreeSLC and receive a free yard sign if you’re a Salt Lake City resident. (If you’re out of SLC, purchase a sign from Beyond Pesticides).
- Check out our blog posts with tips for everything from managing your lawn without chemicals, to organic methods for dealing with pests and tackling weeds.
- Plant pollinator-friendly plants, including native plants, to provide habitat and nutrition for the local pollinators. In Salt Lake City this includes sunflowers, pear cactus, evening primrose, yarrow, manzanita, prairie clover, aster, and goldenrod. More options are provided here.
- Buy local honey, particularly at our local farmers’ markets! This supports local bees and beekeepers.
- Buy organic. Purchasing organic produce helps reduce the use of pesticides.
- Support bee habitat by leaving some mulch-free spots in your garden for ground-nesting bees, placing dead wood for wood-nesting bees, and creating a water source near your wind-sheltered pollinator garden.
For more information regarding pollinators and the national celebration, visit Pollinator Partnership, where they discuss pollinators’ impacts on farmers, gardeners, and our food system. Spread the word and encourage your friends to celebrate pollinators with us!