It's National Pollinator Week and the buzz isn't just about bees

Molly Daly
June 19, 2019 - 7:40 pm
It's National Pollinator week, a time to focus on the creatures that do some heavy lifting - helping plants reproduce. They're in trouble and need our help.

Courtesy of Nancy Lee Adamson/Xerces Society

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's National Pollinator Week, a time to focus on the creatures that do some heavy lifting and help plants reproduce. They're in trouble and need our help.

Matthew Shepherd of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation says that without pollinators, a lot of our favorite things would vanish.

"Something like one out of every three mouthfuls of food and drink that we consume, we get thanks to a pollinator," Shepherd said. 

The job of moving pollen within and between flowers is done by flies, butterflies, beetles, bats, birds, even lizards. And of course, bees. Not just honey and bumble bees, but flashy little native ones, too.

"There are these amazing bright metallic green sweat bees, they're just this glimmering emerald flying around. I just love them, because not only are they beautiful, but they just challenge everybody's image of what a bee should look like," he added. 

It's National Pollinator Week, a time to focus on the creatures that do some heavy lifting - helping plants reproduce. They're in trouble and need our help.
Courtesy of Nancy Lee Adamson/Xerces Society

Human activity is rapidly shrinking the pollinator population, with pesticide and herbicide use, habitat destruction, and climate change all playing a part. 

But Shepherd says you can help pollinators survive and thrive, no matter where you live. A square foot of flowers is better than none.

"If all you've got room for is space to grow a couple of plants, then that's great. That's two more plants that weren't there, and some insects and some pollinators will find those and benefit from them," he said. 

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