Pollinator Week 2017 is the tenth consecutive year of the program that unifies the nation around the vital issue of pollinator conservation. June 19 through 25 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior. More than 160 events across North America have also been organized to support Pollinator Week.
In New York City, Collin O’Mara from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be joining Shark Tank host Daymond John at the Empire State Building on June 22 to light its cupula in yellow and black stripes, representing the nearly 4,000 bees found in the United States. “It’s a privilege to light up the Empire State Building in honor of National Pollinator Week, which means more to me than most will ever know. Helping to reverse the decline of bees is a cause that I’m deeply committed to and I will continue to do all I can to support the cause. As a product of public schools in Queens myself, I’m especially thrilled with the National Wildlife Federation’s involvement with public school kids to restore habitat for bees and other pollinators in New York City. As I believe, bees, other pollinators, and our kids are the keys to our future,” John said.
New York City is a leader in pollinator protection, with 520 NWF Eco-Schools that are all working to plant for pollinators and raise awareness about how to help. The dating app Bumble is also supporting Pollinator Week by establishing a pop-up hive to serve as a gathering place at 158 Mercer Street. In 2014, NWF launched Growing a Wild NYC, a year-long program educating students in public schools about pollinators and the reasons their habitats are so important.
In Washington, D.C., a Congressional briefing is being held by the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus to engage policy makers in the Capitol. P2 will be hosting an employee-planting day on June 21 at Noosa Yoghurt’s farm in Bellvue, Co., as a part of their Blooms for Bees program.
Pollinator Week is also highlighting a collaborative effort urging the monitoring of honeybee hives throughout North America between September 9 and 16 to measure the level of Varroa mite infestation. “Mite-A-Thon” also coincides with the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Varroa destructor in North America.
The CN Tower in Toronto, along with Niagara Falls will be illuminated as a show of support for pollinators. P2 is expanding programs in Canada and has developed 7 new Ecoregional Pollinator Planting Guides for Canadian ecoregions.
All 50 state governors, along with many mayors, as well as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, have authorized proclamations in support of Pollinator Week.
NWF, the nation’s largest conservation organization, is extremely active in helping stop pollinator decline. The organization helped launch the National Pollinator Garden Network to inspire the creation of more pollinator habitats and has also launched the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. Over 300 mayors across the country have pledged their commitment to making their communities more pollinator-friendly.
Founded by Pollinator Partnership (P2), Pollinator Week has grown into an international celebration of the importance of pollinators and what they do for our ecosystems. Honeybees, native bees, bats, butterflies, beetles, moths, beetles, as well as certain birds all play a crucial role. Those pollinators are vital for the health of natural ecosystems and agriculture through the fertilization of plants, which enables them to reproduce and produce seeds and fruits.
According to a study conducted by Cornell University, one-third of all the food eaten in the U.S. is the direct result of pollinators. Declines in pollinator populations in recent decades has been severe due to habitat loss, pesticides, and other threats.
To learn more about Pollinator Week you can visit the Pollinator Partnership webpage.
Listen to an interview with Jane DeMarchi, Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs for American Seed Trade Association.