By Sandra Nelson
“National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.
Thirteen years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.
Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership.”
Taken from the Pollinator Partnership website: https://www.pollinator.org
Throughout the past decade Embassy Landscape Group, under the design leadership of Dan Nelson, has been instrumental in promoting and providing environmentally friendly landscape practices in the Kansas City area. They see themselves not only as stewards of the land, creating, improving, protecting and maintaining natural environments, but also as educators providing accurate and timely environmental information to their customers. As part of their celebration, Embassy will be posting a pollinator-related blog every day this week. I hope that you will join us!
Today, we will be looking at an excerpt of an article first published in 2019 on why pollinators are so important both to us individually and to the world in general.
Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely. (Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers Biological Conservation, Apr. 2019).
If your initial response to these facts was a celebration of fewer bugs in your life, then I’d like you to consider this. Insects have a profound impact on and are a crucial element to all of the life systems of our planet, including that of human beings. Without a profusion of multiple insect species and numbers, our world as we know it will not survive. On the surface, that seems like an alarmist cry, an exaggeration of the facts. Delving into the roles that insects play however, sheds a different light on the statement. So, just what do insects accomplish besides creeping, crawling, stinging and biting?
The most obvious answer is pollination of flowers, trees and food crops. Butterflies and honeybees are the most familiar pollinators identified by the general public. Although they are responsible for annually pollinating over 20 billion dollars worth of food crops in the United States alone, they are not the only insects that pollinate plants.
Many unexpected insect species are also pollinators. Ants, for example, are instrumental In the germination of over 150 plant varieties. As ants carry plant seeds back to their nests to eat later, some seeds are dropped along the way. A percentage of the dropped seeds find their way into the ground where they sprout and grow.
Wasps are pollinators. A particular kind of wasp pollinates fig flowers.Without that wasp, figs would be in short supply. One small, grey moth species pollinates the unique desert Joshua trees, and a type of fly, the chocolate midge, is totally responsible for pollinating cocoa trees. In other words, no midge, no chocolate!
To read the rest of this article, click the link below.