Let's Celebrate National Pollinator Week

Bug Squad By Kathy Keatley Garvey June 14, 2019

A ceramic/mosaic sculpture, “Miss Bee Haven,” anchors the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. It is the work of self-described rock artist Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A ceramic/mosaic sculpture, “Miss Bee Haven,” anchors the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. It is the work of self-described rock artist Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey Bee Haven.jpg

Did you know that next week is National Pollinator Week?

It is. June 17-21 is the week set aside to celebrate pollinators and how we can protect them.

Actually, National Pollinator Week should be every day.

Launched 12 years ago under U.S. Senate approval,  National Pollinator Week zeroes in on the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles, according to Pollinator Partnership, which manages the national celebration.  (Other pollinators include syrphid or hover flies, mosquitoes, moths, pollen wasps, and ants. Pollination involves the transfer of pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma.)

On the UC Davis campus, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, will be a "hive" of activity next week, announced manager Christine Casey, academic program management officer. "We'll be hosting National Pollinator Week events Monday through Friday, June 17 to 21, between 10 a.m. and noon each day." Activities include bee information and identification, solitary bee house making, and catch-and-release bee observation.

The haven volunteers also will sell bee friendly plants and bee houses to support the haven (cash and checks only).

A new event at the haven is hive opening. At 11:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, California Master Beekeeper Program volunteers will open the hive in the haven "so visitors may see the girls in action." The haven, installed in the fall of 2009,  is located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. It is open from dawn to dark, free admission.

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is planning a free webinar Insect Apocalypse? What Is Really Happening, Why It Matters and How Natural Area Managers Can Help on Tuesday, June 18. The webinar, by Scott Hoffman Black, executive director of the Xerces Society begins at noon, Eastern Time, which is 9 a.m., Pacific Time. 

Black says he will "explain the latest science on insect declines and highlight important ways natural areas managers can incorporate invertebrate conservation into their land management portfolio. Though they are indisputably the most important creatures on earth, invertebrates are in trouble. Recent regional reports and trends in biomonitoring suggest that insects are experiencing a multi continental crisis evident as reductions in abundance, diversity and biomass. Given the centrality of insects to terrestrial and freshwater aquatic ecosystems and the food chain that supports humans, the potential importance of this crisis cannot be overstated. If we hope to stem the losses of insect diversity and the services they provide, society must take steps at all levels to protect, restore and enhance habitat for insects across landscapes, from wildlands to farmlands to urban cores. Protecting and managing existing habitat is an essential step as natural areas can act as reservoirs for invertebrate diversity." Click here for more information and to register.

Happy Pollinator Week! Think the "b" alliteration: bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles. But don't forget the flies, ants, mosquitoes and moths!

Visitors to the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven can learn what to plant to attract pollinators. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Visitors to the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven can learn what to plant to attract pollinators. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

National Pollinator Week Is A Time To Celebrate Pollinators And Spread The Word About What You Can Do To Protect Them

Eleven 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.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 18-24, 2018 has been designated National Pollinator Week.

POLLINATOR WEEK WAS INITIATED AND IS MANAGED BY THE POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP.

FIND EVENTS: http://pollinator.org/pollinator-week

National Pollinator Week - June 20-26, 2016

 

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.

Nine 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.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 20-26, 2016 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

It's not too early to start thinking about an event at your school, garden, church, store, etc. Pollinators positively affect all our lives, supporting wildlife, healthy watershed and more - let's SAVE and CELEBRATE them!

http://pollinator.org/pollinatorweek/events

Love Tequila? A Toast to Pollinating Bats

Smithsonian Science.org   June 18, 2014

 Do you enjoy tequila? Then you need to raise your glass to the pollinating bats that helped to make it. At Smithsonian Science they are celebrating Pollinator Week by exploring the world of pollinating bats. 

http://smithsonianscience.org/2014/06/love-tequila-toast-pollinating-bats/

National Pollinator Week: Checking in on Colony Collapse Disorder

Food Safety News     By James Andrews    June 20, 2014

The week of July [June] 16 is being celebrated as National Pollinators Week in an effort to bring more awareness to the integral role that pollinators such as bees, birds, and the other flying creatures play in the life cycles of an estimated 75 percent of the world’s crop varieties and 35 percent of total crop production.

The occasion is also a time to reflect on the current understanding of colony collapse disorder (CCD), the phenomenon causing a spike in die-offs of honey bee populations around the world over the past decade.

One of the biggest developments in CCD research from the past year has been a study from the Harvard School of Public Health on the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bee populations. The study found that, while non-lethal doses of these pesticides would not seem to harm the bees during spring and summer, they had dramatic effects on the bees during winter.

Six out of 12 pesticide-treated bee colonies in the study abandoned their hives after winter and died off, while only one out of six of the non-pesticide colonies died off — and that was from a different disease that killed the bees inside their hive. One of the trademarks of CCD is a low number of dead bees left behind, with most abandoning the hive to die elsewhere.

While research is still being done to clearly define the cause of CCD, at this point believed to be the cumulative effect of numerous stressors on bees, the Harvard study’s authors concluded that their experiment singled out neonicotinoid pesticides as the leading cause of the problem.

At the same time, neonicotinoids are facing more legal scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic.

Last August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced mandatory labels on neonicotinoid pesticides that warn users to be wary of harming pollinators and advising them not to spray under certain conditions during which pollinators are most likely to be present.

In December 2013, a two-year ban on neonicotinoids went into effect in Europe in order to study how well European bee populations fare in the absence of the pesticides. The U.S. EPA will be keeping a close eye on how that ban plays out.

“Based on currently available data, the EPA’s scientific conclusions are similar to those expressed in the EFSA [European] report with regard to the potential for acute effects and uncertainty about chronic risk,” EPA stated. “However, the EFSA report does not address risk management, which, under U.S. federal law, is a key component of the EPA’s pesticide regulatory scheme.”

Chemical companies fought the European ban, saying that it placed an unfair blame on pesticides when evidence suggested a number of other factors, such as viruses and parasites, played into CCD.

Bee experts aren’t all ready to place the blame squarely on pesticides, either. As more research time focuses on CCD, more researchers are coming to the conclusion that it’s caused by a complex synergy of factors, said Dr. Gene Robinson, director of the Institute for Genomic Biology and the Swanlund Chair of Entomology at the University of Illinois.

“The simple fact of the matter is that no single factor can explain the occurrence, distribution and severity of colony collapse disorder,” Robinson said.

Researchers are increasingly designing studies that account for multiple stressors on bees — not a simple feat to achieve in a controlled study environment. Measuring one effect really well is difficult enough, Robinson noted.

At this point, Robinson said he viewed insecticides as receiving too much of the blame. He cautioned against focusing solely on chemicals when pathogens, parasites and environmental changes have shown to have a significant effect on CCD.

“Colony collapse disorder can be regarded as a warning sign for all of our interactions with the environment and the species that are important to us,” Robinson said. “There are a variety of different factors in different combinations that can all have serious effects.”

And, while conducting research is expensive and public attention may wane until the next dire news of massive die-offs emerges, Robinson said it’s incredibly important to continue understanding CCD and what it could mean for our environmental interactions on a bigger scale.

“Using honey bees as canaries in the coal mine, what does this say about other species?” he asked.

Read at: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/06/draft-national-pollinators-week-checking-in-on-colony-collapse-disorder/#.U6QyXfldUmt

Cool Things About Bees That Have Nothing To Do With The Beepocalypse

 greenpeaceblogs.org  By Jason Schwartz    June 18, 2014

It’s National Pollinator Week, seven days the US government sets aside to honor the butterflies, birds, beetles, and bats that keep a lot of our plants (and food supply) going. But if you’ve been paying even the most casual attention, you probably know that that bees, particularly honeybees, are in some serious trouble.

Colony Collapse Disorder is decimating bee populations in the U.S. and Europe. For years, scientists have been trying to understand its causes. But a recent study by Harvard scientists confirms what many in the EU have already taken to heart: a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids are, in large part, to blame.

While we’re super concerned about bees and believe, like any sensible people, that their problems are our problems, we’re not here to talk about Colony Collapse Disorder right now. We think it’s a bummer that so much of the press around bees is about catastrophe, pesticides, mites, viruses, and doom and gloom, while the other great discoveries around bees — which seem to pop up constantly — get little fanfare. So here’s a little sampling, just from the past couple months.

Small brain, big maps

Animal pollinators like birds and butterflies use the sun as a navigational tool, sort of like a compass. Mammals, on the other hand, tend to create mental maps using landmarks. Recent research is showing that despite their tiny brains, bees may actually do both, creating cognitive maps using memorized ‘landscape snapshots’ to find their way home, at times when the sun can’t be relied upon. 

Bees are better than water

Researchers in California found that neither lack of fertilizer nor insufficient watering were as damaging to almond yields than a lack of bees and other wild pollinators. In other words, the presence of bees is more important to crop yields than fertilizer and sufficient watering(WHAT?!) As climate change sends us down a path of food insecurity, preserving bee populations is that much more urgent.

Berries are better with bees

Pollination by bees doesn’t just make more fruit, it makes better fruit.Researchers found that strawberries pollinated by bees were redder, better formed, heavier, firmer, and had better sugar-acid ratios (a marker of flavor) than self-or-wind pollinated strawberries. Another study found similar results when diverse bee species visited their blueberry plants. The economic implications of better berries with longer shelf lives are self-evident, but for most of us, that’s not the point, is it? 

Get your wag on

The waggle dance is how honey bees show hivemates the direction and distance of the good stuff. A recent study shows the waggling bees tend to urge their peers toward nature reserves and rural areas that are managed for agri-ecological diversity. Heavily managed, conventionally-farmed areas are low on bees priority list, even when they house nectar rich flowers. Why? Well don’t they sound boring to you too? 

Buzzed Bees

A recent study showed that bees experience improved long-term memory (along with a predictable mild high) when visiting plants who provide them with caffeine. The caffeine acts as a kind of reward, perhaps provoking bees to remember where they found it. The report also found that bees like to visit those plants in the morning and again at 3pm, when the workday feels like it’s never going to end. Actually that last part is me. 

Rambling men

Neotropical orchid bees, which evolved to depend on year-round warm and moist habitats, are really at risk, as climate change and habitat loss from deforestation have taken a toll on their homes. Fortunately for their continued survival, a sexual variation in orchid bees that has males traveling up to 7km a day means that genetic variation and vitality may be maintained, across fragmented habitats. It’s probably best not to ask where those guys have been though, unless you want to hear bad excuses. They may travel far and use their mental maps to get home, but scientists are still pretty sure bees are bad liars. 

Stuff like this comes out in science journals all the time. There are thousands of scientists all over the world whose job is to figure out new things about bees. That’s their job. Where did I go wrong?

During this National Pollinator week, can we expect legislation from the White House and President Obama about protecting our bees and pollinators? Might we finally see legislation to limit the use of neo-nicotinoids?

We’re not holding our breath, but we hope so.

Read at... http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2014/06/18/national-pollinator-week-six-bee-studies-arent-beepocalypse/?utm_source=gpusafb&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=bees

Pollinator Week 2014 Mobilizes America for Pollinators

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) announced today that its signature initiative, Pollinator Week, has reached significant new milestones in 2014. Established in 2007, Pollinator Week has grown exponentially in scope each year with this year June 16-22 being designated byU.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and 44 governors as a week to celebrate and protect the nation’s pollinating animals (a complete list of State proclamations and events is available at http://pollinator.org/npw_events.htm). Pollinators, like bees, butterflies, birds and other animals, bring us one in every three bites of food, protect our environment. They form the underpinnings of a healthy and sustainable future. From the Louisville Middle School on Main Street, Louisville, CO to the Bee Palooza at Michigan State University; from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville, NC to the 3rd-5th graders at the Citizen Science Nature Camp in Houston, TX – Americans have made pollinator health an issue that they are doing something about!

Joining and supporting this effort are some of the largest businesses and most powerful voices in the country. This year has marked a strong surge in interest in the health of America’s pollinators including First Lady Michelle Obama’s first-ever White House pollinator garden. Pollinator Week marks a new dawn of wise land management across the country and new initiatives launched during Pollinator Week 2014 will multiply the efforts to support pollinators. The following items are just a start:

The Highways BEE Act has been introduced in the Congress by the joint leadership of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), co-chairs of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C). Over 200 national, regional, and local organizations and 2,000 American scientists and individuals from all walks of life across the nation have already signed a petition in support. This pollinator action-opportunity continues for all interested organizations, businesses and individuals at http://www.pollinator.org/BEEAct.htm.

Pollinator Week showcases the brand new pollinator poster of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), Native Orchids Need Their Pollinators. This 2014 poster marks the debuts of pollinator artist Emily Underwood, a scientific illustrator living and working in central California. The poster is available at www.pollinator.org where a new web feature illuminates the intricate interactions between wild orchids and their pollinators, including video footage of orchid pollination.

To kick off Pollinator Week, the Pollinator Partnership teamed with Walgreens, Burt’s Bees, and the Evanston Ecology Center to plant a pollinator garden with volunteers from local schools and gardening groups. The garden, located at the Evanston, Illinois Ecology Center, will be a learning resource for people and a much-needed habitat for local and migratory pollinating species. The nearly quarter acre site will be completed with a second planting later in the summer. The garden has been built with funding from the sales of Burt’s Bees lip balm purchased at the new LEED-certified Walgreens in Evanston which opened in the fall of 2013. For information contact Mark@pollinator.org.

Efforts during Pollinator Week, and indeed year-round, are working to reverse and prevent pollinator declines caused by loss of habitat, disease, pesticides, parasites and other interconnected assaults on pollinator populations. Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of P2 said, “It’s appropriate to see the highest levels of government as well as the grassroots individuals and communities taking action for pollinators. We applaud everyone participating in Pollinator Week 2014. It’s a great starting point for actions, large and small, that support the future of our pollinators, our food supply, and our environment.”

ABOUT THE POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP (P2)

Established in 1997, the Pollinator Partnership is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research. P2’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships and donations from any interested party. P2’s policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor. To make a donation or for information on events during Pollinator Week, visit www.pollinator.org

(This message brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ: Kim Flottom,  Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company. Twitter.FacebookBee Culture’s Blog.)