GLEANINGS 8 compiled by Wayne Handlos

Appreciating Pollinators     

For stunning microscopic photographs of bees  (Click on the bee photo for a slide show.)

(Annie White, Inside Grower, 24 June 2013)

"Around the globe, concerned farmers, growers, researchers and citizens have been celebrating pollinators. Last week was Pollinator Week [June 16. Ed.], and since its establishment in 2007 by the Pollinator Partnership, Pollinator Week has grown each year, drawing more and more support from elected officials, organizations and concerned citizens. Bees are responsible for pollinating one out of every three bites of food we take, bringing the estimated global value of crops pollinated by bees to $217 billion.

"These invaluable little creatures are facing troubling declines in the U.S., but Pollinator Week efforts are working to bring awareness to pollinators and strategies for preventing and reversing their decline. The health of pollinator populations is a concern for many fruit and vegetable farmers who rely on their services and it also happens to be a topic very close to my own heart. I spent most of Pollinator Week, like I do all weeks of my summer, patiently observing the interactions between pollinators and flowering plants, collecting nectar and pollen samples, and slowly working towards the long-term goal of improving plant selection for pollinator habitat enhancements in and around agricultural areas.