Tom Van Arsdall, Laurie Davies Adams
BECAUSE ALL THE POLLINATOR BUZZES DIDN’T FIT INTO POLLINATOR WEEK
Pollinator Week 2017 (June 19-25), marks the tenth consecutive year of uniting the nation around the critically important issue of pollinator conservation. Pollinator Partnership (P2), which created and has administered Pollinator Week since its inception, announced today that ALL 50 state governors (and many mayors), as well as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, have authorized proclamations supporting the national observance of Pollinator Week. Additionally, more than 160 events across North America have been organized and registered through P2’s Pollinator Week webpage (a complete list is available at www.pollinator.org/pollinatorweek/).
Val Dolcini, President and CEO of Pollinator Partnership, noted that “As we celebrate Pollinator Week this year, we certainly focus on the pollinators that contribute so significantly to the biodiversity of our nation’s wildlands and working landscapes, but in a more fundamental way, we also commend and honor the partnerships that have made for such important public policy successes over the years.”
Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and other animals bring us 1 in 3 bites of food; protect our environment; and form the underpinnings of a healthy and sustainable future. While overwintering numbers for both honey bees and monarchs are slightly up – and a sign that some of our efforts are paying off -for other pollinators the news is consistently grim; the once prominent rusty-patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) has been listed as endangered in the US and Canada, a reminder of the fragile nature of pollinator health.
Cities across North America celebrate Pollinator Week through numerous local events, including in New York City, where the dating app Bumble has erected a pop-up hive as a gathering place at 158 Mercer Street. P2 will host an employee planting day at noosa yoghurt’s farm in Bellvue, Co., on June 21 as a part of noosa’s larger Blooms for Bees program. On June 22, the Empire State Building is lighting its cupula in yellow and black to represent the nearly 4000 bees found in the United States and to support the National Wildlife Federation’s Wild in the City program in New York and to draw attention to the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The CN Tower in Toronto and Niagara Falls will also be illuminated to show support for pollinators. In Washington, D.C., a Congressional briefing is being held by the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus, and a reception sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and Pollinator Partnership will engage policy makers in the Capitol. A limited edition tee-shirt has also been commissioned to help celebrate Pollinator Week. To find out about all of the events by state and to order a commemorative shirt (the proceeds of which support pollinator conservation efforts including the National Pollinator Garden Network) visit http://www.pollinator.org/pollinatorweek.
Pollinator Week showcases a new pollinator poster for the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). This 2017 poster, entitled The Monarch Highway, was designed by Stephanie Law, an Oakland-based artist. Featuring an eye-catching blend of aesthetic antiquity and natural detail, the poster highlights the vital role that roadside habitats like the I-35 corridor can play in supporting monarchs as they travel between overwintering grounds and summer breeding habitat. The poster was sponsored by over 30 organizations and government agencies and is available at www.pollinator.org/poster2017.
With expanding programs in Canada, Pollinator Partnership has developed 7 new Ecoregional Pollinator Planting Guides for Canadian ecoregions. The guides provide information for farmers, gardeners, and land managers on local native plants and garden plants that can be used to support managed and wild pollinators such as butterflies and bees. See all the guides for the US and Canada at www.pollinator.org/guides.
Also announced this Pollinator Week is a collaborative effort that will urge the monitoring of honey bee hives across North America during the week of September 9 through the 16th in an effort to measure the level of Varroa mite infestation. The “Mite-A-Thon” is a major campaign that coincides with the 30th anniversary of the discovery of Varroa destructor in North America. The Mite-A-Thon’s major sponsor is Valmont Cosmetics in conjunction with sponsors The Almond Board of California, Project Apis m., The American Beekeeping Federation, The American Honey Producer’s Association, The Canadian Honey Council, Mite-Check from the University of Maryland, The University of Michigan, The University of Minnesota Bee Lab, The Honey Bee Health Coalition, and Pollinator Partnership. “We are hoping that the Mite-A-Thon drives an interest in hive monitoring just before the important overwintering season. Our Canadian partners have outstanding research that mite-free hives fair better – we are hoping to bring support for fulfilling one of the federal pollinator strategy goals – reducing the overwintering deaths of honey bees,” said P2’s Executive Director Emeritus Laurie Davies Adams. Beekeeping organizations and beekeepers are invited to participate; contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
Pollinator Partnership will join forces with the iconic Debbie Harry and Blondie, who are launching their own Bee Connected campaign to save pollinators, following the recent release of their aptly titled Pollinator album. These Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers have shaped, and continue to influence, the worlds of music, fashion and art.
In celebration of its 20th Anniversary, P2 has launched the Support the Bees™ Campaign to further expand its programs to benefit pollinators. Jamie Sherman, COO of Pollinator Partnership encourages donations and notes that “with your help, the campaign hopes to raise $5 million over three years – it will make a real difference for pollinator health, habitat, and conservation throughout North America.” Visit www.pollinator.org/support-the-bees/ to learn more.