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 19-25, 2017

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

Ten 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 19-25, 2017 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

FIND EVENTS: http://pollinator.org/pollinatorweek/

Honey Bee Health Coalition Supports Honey Bee Health During Pollinator Week

Honey Bee Health Coalition Supports Honey Bee Health During Pollinator Week

June 19 - 25, 2017

Supporting honey bee health has never been as important as it is today. The annual Bee Informed Partnership survey has shown that in 2016, surveyed beekeepers lost a third of their bees. With agriculture dependent on honey bees and other native pollinators, the Honey Bee Health Coalition is proud to be developing collaborative, multi-factor solutions to the challenges bees face.
 
Three years since its launch, the Coalition is still going strong.
 
With Pollinator Week just around the corner, the Coalition continues to draw inspiration from its namesake and work together to find collective and collaborative strategies to support honey bee health.

Pollinator Week
Honey bees and pollinators work throughout the year to support the food and products we count on every day. Pollinator Week is an opportunity to highlight everything honey bees make possible — including billions of dollars in North American agriculture.

Coalition members are doing their parts to highlight not only the challenges bees face, but also the opportunities for everyday people to support honey bee health. For example, Coalition members will be holding and participating in a series of events, including:

The St. Louis Zoo will host its 9th Annual Pollinator Dinner on Tuesday, June 20, starting at 6 p.m. CT. The reservation-only event is title "Native Foods, Native Peoples and Native Pollinators" and highlights the culinary and cultural history of Native Americans and the critical supporting role native pollinators play.

The Levin Family Foundation will celebrate Wright-Patterson Air Force Base being designated as a Bee City USA on Wednesday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. The Pollinator Expo will highlight local organizations' efforts to protect pollinators.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will host a Pollinator Stakeholder Day to present the Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan to Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles.

Representatives from the Honey Bee Health Coalition and the Conservation Technology Information Center will discuss the Bee Integrated Demonstration Project in a June 21webinar from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

But that's not all: Coalition members and allies are holding a wide variety of events across the nation. To learn more about additional Pollinator Week activities, including those in your backyard, visit the Pollinator Partnership’s interactive map.

UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Office of the Secretary
Washington, D.C. 20250

NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK

June 19 - 25, 2017

By the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America
 
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS pollinator species such as honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies are essential partners of farmers and ranchers in producing food and are vital to keeping items such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets; and
 
WHEREAS healthy pollinator populations critical to the continued economic well-being of agricultural producers, of rural America, and of the U.S. economy; and
 
WHEREAS pollinator losses over the past few decades require immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect environmental health; and

WHEREAS it is critically important to encourage the protection of pollinators; increase the quality and amount of pollinator habitat and forage; reverse pollinator losses; and help restore pollinator populations to healthy levels;

NOW, THEREFORE, in recognition of the vital significance of protecting pollinator health, I, Sonny Perdue, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, do hereby proclaim June 19 - 25, 2017, as National Pollinator Week. I call upon the people of the United States to join me in celebrating the significance of pollinators with appropriate observances and activities
.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 24th day of May 2017, the two-hundred forty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America.

SONNY PERDUE
Secretary

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

Scientists Release Landmark 'Worldwide Assessment' of Bee-Harming Pesticides, Call for Global Action

Center for Food Safety     Press Release    June 24, 2014

9 scientists review over 800 peer-reviewed publications and urge more restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides

Following last week’s celebration of “National Pollinator Week” and aPresidential Memorandum to kick-start federal action on bees, the first wide-scale analysis of two classes of pesticides linked to declining bee populations was released early today.

The “Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA)” — undertaken by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides — documents significant harms to bees and ecosystems. Global scientists are calling for new, dramatic restrictions on bee-harming pesticides in the United States and beyond. The report also suggests that the current regulatory system has failed to capture the range of impacts of these pesticide products. 

“This report should be a final wake up call for American regulators who have been slow to respond to the science,” said Emily Marquez, PhD, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network North America. “The weight of the evidence showing harm to bees and other pollinators should move EPA to restrict neonicotinoids sooner than later. And the same regulatory loopholes that allowed these pesticides to be brought to the market in the first place — and remain on the shelf — need to be closed.”

The report will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research and is being released at events in Brussels, Manila, Montreal and Tokyo over the next two days. It underscores that neonicotinoid pesticides and their breakdown products are persistent and harmful, even at very low levels.

“The science clearly shows that, not only are these systemic pesticides lethal to pollinators, but even low doses can disrupt critical brain functions and reduce their immunity to common pathogens,” said Nichelle Harriott, staff scientist at Beyond Pesticides.

“To save our invaluable pollinators, EPA, USDA and all Federal agencies must read this report and immediately implement regulatory remedies against the ongoing neonicotinoid disaster,” said Doug Gurian-Sherman, PhD, senior scientist for Center for Food Safety. “We know from recent studies that neonicotinoid seed treatments are generally not improving yields or even keeping common pests at bay. They aren’t serving farmers and they certainly aren’t serving pollinators. It is time to address this common route of exposure.”

Neonicotinoids, highlighted in the report released today, are a newer class of systemic insecticides that are absorbed by plants and transported throughout the plant’s vascular tissue, making the plant potentially toxic to insects. Imidacloprid (Bayer), then later clothianidin (Bayer), thiamethoxam (Syngenta) and dinotefuran first came into heavy use in the mid-2000s. At the same time, beekeepers started observing widespread cases of colony losses, leaving beekeepers unable to recoup their losses.

This past year was another challenging one for farmers and beekeepers, with beekeepers reporting average losses of over 45%.

“The report lends credence to what beekeepers have been saying for several years,” said Jeff Anderson, beekeeper and owner of California-Minnesota Honey Farms. “Our country depends on bees for crop pollination and honey production. It’s high time regulators realize that applying toxins to plants makes them toxic to bees.”

Over the past few years, advocacy groups and beekeepers have filed legal petitions and lawsuits with EPA, calling on the agency to suspend the use of neonicotinoids.  Yet, over two years later, the agency has refused and indicated it will not finish its review for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, as well as other neonicotinoids, until 2018. Meanwhile, environmental regulators in Europe instituted a 2-year moratorium on the chemicals last December based on the evidence from independent studies.

In addition to bees, the report highlights the far-reaching impacts of neonicotinoids on entire ecosystems, from direct exposure to persistence in soil and water. Bumble bees, butterflies and other pollinators that serve both agriculture and provide ecosystem support services are also in jeopardy from these pesticides.

In addition to neonicotinoids, the report also focuses on the insecticide fipronil, which is also linked to impacts on bees and has been targeted by European regulators for an additional ban.

Today’s report underscores previous summaries of scientific studies on the impact of pesticides on pollinators, including those compiled by groups like Pesticide Action NetworkCenter for Food Safety, the Xerces Society and American Bird Conservancy.

Read at: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/3255/scientists-release-landmark-worldwide-assessment-of-bee-harming-pesticides-call-for-global-action

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/

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

National Pollinator Week: June 16-22, 2014

National Pollinator Week starts June 16. Find events and information at http://pollinator.org/pollinator_week_2013.htm

ABOUT THE POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP 

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. For further information on events taking place during Pollinator Week and to download free materials to create your own event, visit www.pollinator.org

Read the Pollinator Week Press Release - Bee and Pollinator Health a Serious Concern and a Priority Pollinator Week Activities Seek to Help

Read the Pollinator Week Press Release - Pollinator-Beneficial Farm Bill Amendment Adopted by House During Pollinator Week
Would Help Ensure Viability of Honey Bees, Native Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects

Learn About Native Bees and the Flowers They Visit

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey

It's just in time for National Pollinator Week, June 16-22. 

Native bee enthusiast Celeste Ets-Hokin of the Bay Area is on a three-fold mission: She wants to protect North America's premier pollinators; she wants to inspire an appreciation for the importance and diversity of our native bees; and she wants people to create a habitat for native bees in their own gardens.

So, as an educational tool meant for all ages, Ets-Hokin originated the idea of a Wild Bee Gardens app to "show the dazzling diversity of North America's native bees." The app links native bees to many of the flowers they frequent.

The app is a comprehensive introduction to what the UC Berkeley zoology graduate calls "the essential world of native bees." It's comprised of some 300 photographs of native bees and their floral resources (primarily by entomologist/insect photographer Rollin Coville of the Bay Area) plus 100 pages "of extensive background and educational material in the form of guides."

Topics covered in the guides include:

  1. The role of native bees in our natural ecosystems
  2. The ecology and life cycles of native bees
  3. How to create a successful bee garden
  4. How to identify the native bee visitors that will appear in these gardens

Ets-Hokin wrote the text, seeking scientific consultation from native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis (co-author of the newly published Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide) and UC Berkeley faculty member Gordon Frankie. She also praised the "amazing job" of the design and development team, Arlo and Rebecca Armstrong. 

Where to get Wild Bee Gardens? The I-Pad version  is now available on the Apple App Store for the introductory price of $3.99. Those purchasing the app will receive the upcoming, expanded iPhone version at no additional cost, said Ets-Hokin, adding that they also will receive free downloads of all future enhancements.

Ets-Hokin devotes her time to the public awareness and conservation of native bees. This includes establishing a native bee demonstration garden with the Alameda County Master Gardeners at Lake Merritt, Oakland; and coordinating the publication of native bee calendars

.

 

 Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at: http://ucanr.org/blogs/bugsquad/

Bayer CropScience Seeks Nominations for 2014 Community Beekeeping Award

Heraleonline.com            By Bayer Crop Science    3/31/14

Winning Entrant to Receive $5,000 in Program Support; trip to Washington, D.C. During National Pollintor Week in June

 — /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer CropScience today announced it is seeking nominations for its second annual Bee Care Community Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who has utilized beekeeping to create innovative projects that benefit a community.

The award, an initiative of Bayer's North American Bee Care Program, provides a $5,000 grant to the winner, to be used in support of a community beekeeping project. The winner will also receive an all-expense paid trip to a reception in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 2014, at the U.S. Botanic Gardens during National Pollinator Week.

"Honey bees play a vital role in our food supply because one-third of all the food we eat is pollinated," said Dr. Becky Langer, head of the Bayer North American Bee Care Program. "The support of beekeeping and beekeepers can bring a wide range of benefits to a local community, and we believe these beneficial programs deserve recognition and encouragement."

Last year's Bee Care Community Leadership Award winner, Steve McNair from Flanagan, Ill., created an initiative that encourages at-risk young men to learn about beekeeping. Housed at Salem4youth, the project resulted in many of its young men learning about the complexity of a hive and leaving the program with a newfound interest in keeping bees and understanding the importance of bees to their everyday life.

Entrants are evaluated by a four-member panel of judges, incuding Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine; Dr. David Tarpy, professor of entomology at North Carolina State University; Darren Cox, national beekeeper of the year and president of Cox Honey of Utah, LLC; and Dick Rogers, entomologist and manager of the North American Bayer Bee Care Center. Individuals interested in applying for the award can obtain an application at www.pollinatorweek.bayer.com. The deadline for submission is May 9, 2014.

For more information on Bayer's bee health initiatives, please visit:www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/bee-health.

Pollinators Protected, At Least in the House

(The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.) 

A pollinator protection amendment passed yesterday that was offered by Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) to the Farm Bill currently being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, a fitting and positive development during National Pollinator Week.

“Honey bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses, and we all know pollinators are vitally important to agriculture and are an integral part of food production.  These critical species are at the front lines of pesticide exposure and it is high time that the government do more to protect them.” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety.

The Hastings amendment, which passed 273-149 with 81 Republicans and 192 Democrats voting in favor, seeks to better improve federal coordination in addressing the dramatic decline of managed and native pollinators as well as direct the government to regularly monitor and report on the health of pollinators including bees, birds, bats and other beneficial insects.

In the United States, pollination contributes to $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually.  In North America, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits, including many specialty crops like almonds, avocados, cranberries, oranges and apples. 

“This year has shown the highest honey bee losses since colony collapse began; it is a clear message that we need to do more to protect pollinators.  The Hastings amendment is a much needed win for pollinators everywhere and we hope it compels the government to do more to protect these vital species,” added Kimbrell. 

Earlier this month, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) filed a nearly identical amendment to the Senate Farm Bill but it was not voted on prior to the Senate passing its bill. The House has yet to vote on final passage of the bill, which is expected to come early next week.  The Center is confident that the Senate will support the pollinator protection language when the two bills go to conference.

National Pollinator Week

From Bayer Crop Science for National Pollinator Week

Support pollinators by participating in the Pollinator Pledge in honor of National Pollinator Week by planting a pollinator garden at your home or in the community. You aren’t alone because we'll help you get started. Fill out the form below and Bayer will send you a packet of wildflower seeds selected to appeal to pollinators. For each person who requests a packet, Bayer will donate $1 to the nonprofit Pollinator Partnership. And once you’ve received your seed packet, check back here for a tip sheet on the steps you should take to plant a beautiful pollinator garden.

You can also pay it forward. Don’t keep your free packet of seeds a secret! Let others know how they can join in the effort, too. Visit us on Twitter at @Bayer4CropsUS and share your story with us.

http://www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/pollinator-week#
http://pollinator.org/pollinator_week_2013.htm